President Trump: “Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years and I don’t know why President Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out.” https://t.co/SZxlwMe8Kj pic.twitter.com/tpbR734Yw0
— The Hill (@thehill) October 21, 2018
Courtesy of The Guardian:
Donald Trump has confirmed the US will leave an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.
“We’ll have to develop those weapons,” the president told reporters in Nevada after a rally. “We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”
Trump was referring to the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500km to 5,500km. Signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, it led to nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles being eliminated, and an end to a dangerous standoff between US Pershing and cruise missiles and Soviet SS-20 missiles in Europe.
The Guardian reported on Friday that Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton, a longstanding opponent of arms control treaties, was pushing for US withdrawal. The US says Russia has been violating the INF agreement with the development and deployment of a new cruise missile. Under the terms of the treaty, it would take six months for US withdrawal to take effect.
I don’t think too many people would argue that Russia has not honored the treaty, they haven’t.
But if Trump really has the great relationship that he claims to have with Putin, one would think he could bring him back to the table to renegotiate a better version of the treaty rather than to walk away from it and start over from scratch.
I actually don’t think that either Trump or Putin really want to have a treaty in place.
For Russia, being out of the treaty means they can continue to work on an even deadlier nuclear arsenal, while for Trump it means pushing for more military spending in order to compete and that means more money in the hands of the military industrial complex.
Keep in mind that we already have enough nuclear weapons to destroy this planet many times over.
Continuing to make these weapons more efficient and more deadly really has no military value.