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Friday
Aug022019

US and Russia officially withdraw from INF Treaty

An important treaty signed in 1987, and that for the first time saw an actual reduction in the nuclear arsenals of the US and the then Soviet Union, has now officially ended. Today, the threatened withdrawal from the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty by US president, Donald Trump, and Russian president, Vladimir Putin, became official. Now, the danger of a new arms race on European and Asia soil, once again looms.

The INF Treaty required the US and Russia to eliminate and permanently forswear nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. It was signed by then presidents Reagan and Gorbachev (pictured). The INF suspension opens the door for intermediate-range, ground-based nuclear-armed missiles returning to Europe and for US deployment of such missiles in Asia. 

There has been universal opposition to the ending of the INF Treaty among arms control, non-proliferation and peace groups, including Beyond Nuclear. We appeared on The Big Picture decrying this decision, along with the continued intention to spend $494 billion dollars over the next ten years "upgrading and refurbising" the US nuclear weapons arsenal -- code for replacing old missiles, bombers and submarines with new ones.

The timing could not be any more significant, given the cancelation happened within days of the remembrance events for the horrific and needless US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.