Trump Is Igniting a Perilous New Nuclear-Arms Race

06 February, 2019, 09:29 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • President Donald Trump on Friday announced the US was suspending its obligations under the INF treaty as of Saturday and starting a process to withdraw in six months. — File

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that his country will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if Washington does so.

"I agree with the proposal... to create a ground-based hypersonic mid-range missile", President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with the nation's defense chief and foreign minister on Saturday.

Last week, the U.S. announced it was 'suspending" the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, negotiated with the Soviets in 1987, and would withdraw from it entirely in six months if Moscow continued with its "violations' of the agreement.

In December, Putin said if Washington abandoned the treaty, Russia's seaborne Kalibr and air-launched Kh-101 cruise missiles - as well as cutting-edge hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles would be converted for ground launch. The missile, which has an estimated range of at least 2,500km (1,550 miles), could reach most of continental Europe and the United Kingdom if stationed in western Russian Federation or the Kaliningrad region.

Unfortunately, once one of history's most successful security agreements, now we must confront the fact that the Russian government has been cheating on this historic treaty: producing, flight-testing, and fielding exactly the type of missile that the INF Treaty prohibits.

"In Europe, it will happen due to the threat of deploying short- and intermediate-range missiles from both the American and Russian sides". The drone is created to carry a heavy nuclear weapon that could cause a devastating tsunami wave.

Putin also noted during Saturday's meeting that he would like the military to prepare a response to the possible deployment of weapons in space.

At present when the world is debating if the world can ever be free of arms, in general, and nuclear weapons, in particular, the United States disregard for arms control will allow other nations to update their nuclear arsenal causing perpetual security dilemma. China has stated that Russian Federation and the USA should adhere to the INF and objects to any efforts to expand the treaty beyond its current scope.

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A new weapon: The breakdown of the treaty could herald a worrying new era in weapons development. He said the military must reconfigure the existing defence budget to find money for the new weapons.

Russian Federation has a head start - but is it the main threat?

"We are not seeking an arms race, which was at the present at the times of the Cold War, the president said very clearly about this", he added.

Technically, a USA withdrawal would take effect six months after this week's notification, leaving a small window for saving the treaty.

This is a developing story, more to follow.

"The issue of missiles under the treaty is directly linked to security in East Asia".

Whether the United States will now respond by deploying INF non-compliant missiles in Asia is unclear. Leaving the INF treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it's unclear how it would do that.



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