1963 – ?
The first Nuclear Test Ban treaty owes its origins to the de-escalation process that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis. It prohibited further nuclear tests in the air, underwater or in space. International pressure for such a ban mounted in the 1950s as scientific evidence began to document severe environmental damage caused by earlier atmospheric testing by the nuclear powers. Underground testing remained an allowable methodology, but all forms of “peaceful nuclear explosions” were also banned, tightening the non-proliferation regime.
Time: Early War
Removed after event: No
This event is just awful. Most of the time, it’s a 0VP card that you would trigger for the event only when you have DEFCON suicide cards in your hand. The fact that it raises DEFCON by two levels (usually, to DEFCON 4) means that you will usually get a Action Round at DEFCON 3 after your opponent coups from DEFCON 4 to 3.
The other corner case is when DEFCON starts off very high for some reason, at which point this is a 4Ops for 3VPs trade. Still not great, but maybe sometimes those 3VPs can be important.
But both of these are desperation moves. 98% of the time, this is just a powerful 4Ops card whose event text you skip over. Even in that 2% where the event is meaningful, you probably would have rather been playing How I Learned to Stop Worrying (in the first case) or Arms Race (in the second case).
That’s not to say its presence in the game is bad, or that the card needs a better event text. It serves a niche role, but a crucial one (when it comes up). More generally, not every event can, or should, be Red Scare/Purge or Grain Sales to Soviets: sometimes you just need to play Ops. A game where every event was game-changing would probably be too swingy to enjoy.