What does the US withdrawal from a nuclear arms treaty mean?
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What does the US withdrawal from a nuclear arms treaty mean?

November 22, 2019


Mr Trump says the US is pulling
out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Agreement. Now that dates back to
the end of the Cold war. 1987, Reagan and Gorbachev met
and agreed that neither country would have land based
ground-launched missiles of intermediate range
from 500km to 5,500km. And it was really
all about keeping Europe safe from the
prospect of nuclear war. At the time, it marked
the first real rallentando in the Cold war. It was the first time that
either side dismantled any of its nuclear arsenal, and
the numbers actually reduced. The US says that Russia has
been in violation of this treaty since 2014. And Mr Trump thinks
that the US has now been waiting for quite long enough. And Russia, for its part,
alleges that the US is also in violation of it. It thinks its missile defence
facilities in Europe could be turned into missile launchers. And so they don’t feel safe. For the US part, the
claim is that some of the Russian missiles
that currently exist are within that
intermediate range. And Nato increasingly has
seemed to agree with the US administration that Russia is
in violation of the treaty. And given that the US has
been flagging this since 2014, they think that it’s been simply
too long, waiting for Russia to fall back into
compliance with both sides slinging mud at each other. Mr Trump is obviously
keen on his hard lines. He’s announced withdrawal,
but he hasn’t actually given a date. And there’s a
little bit of sense there’s still some
wiggle room on this. But that, ultimately, the
US will likely withdraw. But perhaps the most
interesting read on what Trump might be up
to is to look at China. Now, China is not part of this
essentially US-Russia treaty. So China has been able to build
intermediate range missiles throughout this period. And, indeed, a senior US defence
official has previously said that 95 per cent of all of
China’s missiles are within this intermediate range. And one of the reasons that
Russia has been annoyed about this treaty in the
past is because it has not been able to develop
intermediate range missiles directly to
counter what it might see as the Chinese threat. And so neither the
US nor the Russians have been able to
counter, measure up to what the Chinese have been
producing in really quite significant numbers. And when Trump said
that he was withdrawing the US from this treaty, he
specifically mentioned China. In a sort of caveat way,
maybe he could make a deal, might China like to
come into the treaty. Now, there are not many
people, who I’ve spoken to, who think it’s at all likely
that China would voluntarily join this treaty. It would have to destroy a huge
number of missiles that it has decided are good
for its defence. But it does show that what
the US is really worried about long-term is less
the threat of Russia and more the threat of China.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. It means: US has many enemies-including ex-allies;
    US wants allies to have US-made ARMS only; US wants all nuclear arms stored overseas to keep US free from nuclear catastrophes – very smart!!

  2. War will happen in 2040 when the world runs out of oil and the Antartica treaty ended. They will scramble for Antartica

  3. It means nothing because trump decided not to fight Putin in Syria . With Clinton in charge we would already have been on our way to world war 3

  4. Hyper sonic missiles also play a role as they can fire over long ranges with such speed they can't be countered prior to impact, without giving away their re-entry targets, yet on re-entry they have cruise missile stealth and accuracy. Total game changers. Just another first strike weapon not available when Regan was around.

  5. It really means that America has been in violation of the treaty for years, in fact America never honors treaties… just ask native tribes in America (what is left of them).

  6. JUSTICE FOR KHASHOGGIE https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdUShhYKdFekGXOzy70inyXkKRpSXJAUd&fbclid=IwAR2TWOmqtZud2u9abQVHavaheXZdLF1l4Hs_dLumyAJ0IMtQeBzRwtF9DMk

  7. Would someone tell me if NATO's missile bases in Lithuania and Poland and soon to be Romania and Bulgaria pre-date Russian short range missile bases within their own borders?
    Isn't intermediate range missiles defensive and long range ICBm, offensive?

  8. The United States pulling out of the 1987 nuclear arms treaty isn't against Russian interests. It allows a new sham nuclear arms race which will free both the US and Russia to increase nuclear dominance over their spheres of influence and boost arms production in both countries from which their oligarchies will profit.

  9. Its currently against the law to rob banks, kill the law, it
    would then be possible to rob a bank and not be punished for it, simple logic…

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