October 23, 2018

Trump says he'll scrap a Cold War-era missile deal with Russia, which could throw 'another hand grenade' into NATO

Featuring Jim Townsend

Source: Business Insider

Journalist Christopher Woody

At a rally in Nevada on October 20, President Donald Trump said he would pull the US out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty signed by the US and the Soviet Union in 1987.

The US has repeatedly said in recent years that Russia was in violation of the treaty and that Moscow's renewed embrace of those weapons put the US at a disadvantage. US officials have also pointedto intermediate-range missiles developed by China, which is not an INF treaty signatory, a reasons to forgo the deal.

But in Europe, where many countries watch Russia warily, scrapping the deal and seeking to redeploy intermediate-range missiles is likely to be greeted with resistance and may exacerbate strains that already exist between US partners on the continent.

The INF treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 and approved by the US Senate in a 93-5 vote.

It banned ground-launched missiles with ranges between 500 kilometers and 5,500 kilometers, or about 310 miles and 3,400 miles. It led to the dismantling of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles belonging to both the US and the USSR.

The accord also diffused a standoff that began in the late 1970s, when the Soviets deployed SS-20 intermediate-range nuclear missiles and the US responded by deploying Pershing II nuclear missiles. (A protest movement in Western Europe helped bring Moscow to sign the treaty.)

Read the full article and more in Business Insider.

  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...