As we slowly remove ourselves from the international treaties of our past….and the newest one is the INF Treaty…..a nuke and missile treaty from the 1980s….
Personally I think it is stupid to pull out yet another nuke treaty……but do not take my word for it…..
President Donald Trump’s announcement that he intends to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was cast in contractual logic: the U.S.-Russian agreement prohibits land-based short-and-intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles, both nuclear and conventional, which are difficult to track and make unintentional nuclear war more likely. Washington, with support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, alleges that Moscow has breached that ban, and, as Trump put it , “we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we’re not allowed to.”
If Russia has violated the deal, why should America maintain it? While there is a good reason to think National Security Advisor John Bolton would want out of the INF Treaty regardless of Russian compliance—he has argued as much in the past—the basic logic of leaving an already broken treaty seems straightforward. Nevertheless, there are three strategic reasons to proceed with extreme caution.
His, Trump’s, withdrawal should not be the end of arms control as we know it…..
Even before President Trump reversed his position and announced (at a campaign rally for Republican congressional candidates in Nevada, no less) that he was pulling the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement (INF), the era of significant nuclear arms control agreements between the United States and Russia was in danger of ending. Such a development must be forestalled at all costs, because arms control efforts have over the last 50 years shown themselves to be remarkably effective.
From the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty, which banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere, to the 2011 New START Agreement, which limited the two countries to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear weapons on no more than 700 deployed delivery vehicles, the two major nuclear powers have concluded dozens of bilateral agreements and supported several multilateral arms pacts.
Hopefully Trump will come to his senses about nukes and arms control…..but truthfully I am not holding my breath….are you?