US ANNOUNCES WITHDRAWAL FROM KEY COLD WAR NUCLEAR ARMS TREATY WITH RUSSIA
- S. President Donald Trump confirmed that the U.S. would pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia.
- INF Treaty is a crucial Cold War-era treatywhich led to banning the development, testing and possession of short and medium range ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range of 500-5,000 km.
- The treaty, signed in 1987, was central to ending the arms race between the two superpowers, and protected America’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.
The Real Issue:
- US has accused that Russia has developed and deployed Novator 9M729 missile that could strike Europe at short notice. (However, Russia has repeatedly denied the allegation)
- The Russians denied the allegations and raised counter-allegations of the U.S. installing missile defence systems in Europe.
- USA also want to negotiate a favourable treaty by including china within the arms control treaty by scraping the older one.
- The withdrawal follows a larger pattern of backing off from international agreements by USA in recent times – TPP, NAFTA, Paris Climate agreement.
- It would impact the renewal of SALT Treaty due to be renewed by 2021.
- A withdrawal will allow the U.S. new weapon options in the Pacific in its efforts to counter China’s growing influence.
- There are also concerns that the treaty’s end could mark the beginning of a new arms race between the U.S. and Russia.
- It would affect the European trust over USA as they would be hesitant to break the treaty which will pave way for establishing missile systems in Europe.
- Reviewing the treaty rather than scrapping it to adapt for the changing times
- Separate bilateral treaty with china will help tackle the Chinese threat
- Push for global regime of arms control will be a sustainable solution