Why Is Washington Willing to Risk World War? Short Range Nukes Can Turn European to Ash
What threats could come from a US withdrawal from the treaty? Why is it advantageous to Washington despite the threat to the entire world?
Ruslan Sleptsov will tell us.
It was the first in history and the only treaty on the destruction of an entire class of nuclear weapons. At that moment, for both countries — the USSR and the USA, it wasn't about politics or diplomacy. It was a matter of life and death. The emergence of a new type of weapon, short and intermediate-range missiles, their speed and accuracy questioned the main factor of stability in recent years, nuclear parity, and also made the deceptive prospect of victory in a nuclear war possible. The American Pershing systems and Soviet Pioneer systems, with an impact time of several minutes, turned the European continent into a zone of destruction.
The treaty on the elimination of such missiles was signed in Washington on December 8th, 1987 by General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan. This year marks exactly 30 years since the INF Treaty came into effect. Short and intermediate-range missiles were eliminated. but the proportion wasn't equal; the USSR eliminated 1,846 missiles while the USA eliminated 1,000 fewer — 846. However, there were violations during this time. There were particular accusations against Washington. Bypassing the agreement, the United States tested ballistic missiles with a range of up to 3,000 miles. stating that these were just targets and they were needed to test missile defense systems. Within the framework of the missile defense systems in Poland and Romania, they deployed the so-called universal vertical launching systems, which allowed the use of Tomahawk cruise missiles. They also created unmanned fighting vehicles with a range of over 300 miles. which again fall under the definition of ground-based cruise missiles and violate the INF Treaty. Last year, the USA announced plans to create a new mobile ground-based intermediate-range cruise missile and even allocated a budget of $25 million.
Igor Morozov, Federation Council Member: «The USA is already developing new missile systems of intermediate range. These new systems will be deployed at the American bases in Europe first of all, increasing US military presence, and actually putting pressure on NATO allies to start funding for this type of weapons. These are American tactics. It's economically profitable for the USA to withdraw from the INF Treaty».
It's obviously political blackmail and economic gain which will be entailed by the withdrawal from the INF Treaty. But the USA explains it in a different way. They say this is a direct answer to the fact that in the past few years Russia has been deploying its own short and intermediate-range missiles. But experts aren't convinced with these findings.
Konstantin Kosachev, International Affairs Committee: «For 3 years, between 2014 and 2017, to all of our questions on what the US complaints were about we didn't hear anything except an abstract idea — „it seems to us that you are breaking the treaty, but we will not say how“. In March of this year, there were special closed consultations on a treaty between Russia and the United States in Geneva. At each round, Americans gradually made their complaints more concrete. The topic of the Russian missile with the 9M729 modification arose, but as far as I know, the American complaints remained unfounded. They got some photos from the internet. They can't say anything in addition to the usual „we think that this missile could be tested at a greater range than the treaty covers“ which means a range of almost 4,000 miles. All of these allegations remained unproven. All of this turned out nonsense in practice. The USA continues its back-door games with the goal not to catch Russia violating the treaty and force it to observe it, but to break the treaty on their own».
The possible US withdrawal from the INF Treaty could snowball to breaking other important treaties between the countries and to provoking another round of the arms race. According to a senior official from the US Administration, after the withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the White House is thinking on withdrawal from Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty — New START.
Ruslan Sleptsov, Vesti.