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  • President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the plug on one of the most important arms treaties passed 30 years.

  • One side has not been adhering to it,

  • we have but one side hasn't.

  • Signed in 1987, between Russia and America,

  • the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

  • otherwise known as the INF contributed to the beginning

  • of the end of the Cold War.

  • For more than a decade, Russia has been cheating the terms

  • of the deal.

  • But what would be the death of the nuclear pact mean

  • for world peace.

  • In 1987, after the years of the negotiation

  • the super powers agreed to meet.

  • Today, I for the United States and the General Secretary

  • for the Soviet Union have signed the first agreement ever

  • to eliminate an entire class of US

  • and Soviet nuclear weapons.

  • We have made history.

  • Mr. Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev agreed to destroy

  • and never again produce land based missiles with a range

  • of 500 to 5,500 miles.

  • Some politicians and journalists

  • are already speculating as to who has won.

  • I reject this approach.

  • It is a throwback to old thinking.

  • At the time The Economist reported

  • that the world has crossed the Rubicon

  • of nuclear disarmament

  • but warned that the west should trend carefully

  • because westen public opinion may be lulled

  • into thinking that Russia is no longer an adversary.

  • In the Department of Defense, we've viewed Gorbachev

  • as someone we could do business with.

  • He was looking to the future and understood

  • it could not be based on confrontation with the west.

  • Frank Miller spent 30 years working

  • for the US government on national security

  • and negotiated nuclear deals with the Russians.

  • This is what the INF Treaty was all about.

  • But 30 years after the landmark treaty,

  • both sites blame the other for breaking the agreement.

  • In 1987 we were looking to work together

  • and there was a spirit of cooperation.

  • There is now a spirit

  • of confrontation emanating from Moscow.

  • Putin is using his intelligence services

  • in his cyber services to try to disrupt events

  • in the west and today the Russians actually believe

  • that nuclear weapons are useful weapons of war

  • and certainly they use them all the time as weapons

  • of coercion and intimidation.

  • Over the past decade, Russia has been testing

  • and deploying missiles that break the deal.

  • The Russians say that it is America

  • that's broken he treaty,

  • claiming NATO's defense shield in Romania and Poland

  • has the capacity

  • to fire intermediate-range missiles into Russia.

  • Relations between the United States and Russia now

  • are poor and are getting worse.

  • We need to make clear to Mr. Putin that aggression

  • against the United States is not a policy goal

  • he can pursue.

  • Both sides have six months to negotiate

  • before the deal is disbanded.

  • But if the treaty collapses,

  • the consequences could be severe.

  • Other countries who are not signatories to the INF

  • including China, India, and Israel

  • have been stockpiling missiles.

  • The US and Russia may look to catch up,

  • sparking an arms race that could jeopardize what is left

  • of global arms control.

  • Most worryingly, the potential death of the INF

  • has called into question the new start treaty,

  • a pact between Russia and America that deals

  • with long range nuclear missiles.

  • If this is not agreed,

  • there would be no constraint on the nuclear forces

  • of America and Russia for the first time

  • in almost 50 years.

President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the plug on one of the most important arms treaties passed 30 years.

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The next global arms race? | The Economist

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    Liang Chen posted on 2019/02/13
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