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Trump Is Pushing the United States Toward Nuclear Anarchy 

The White House wants to leave the INF Treaty. New START could be next. The death of these agreements would fuel a new arms race. Foreign policy, BY JON WOLFSTHAL OCTOBER 31, 2018, President Donald Trump’s tough talk about withdrawing the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has generated plenty of controversy, but not much clarity about what happens next. What’s certain is that the end of the treaty would make the United States and its allies (for whom Trump apparently cares little) less safe and would undermine the global basis for nuclear restraint and nonproliferation.

And it may get worse. America’s potential withdrawal from the INF Treaty—which bans the United States and Russia from having nuclear or conventional ground-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km (300 to 3,400 miles)—suggests that the 2010 New START arms reduction treaty with Russia might be next.

The untimely death of these two agreements would add fuel to a new arms race and further undermine stability and predictability between Washington and Moscow.

The last time the United States   aand Russia had to navigate a world without bilateral nuclear constraints was before 1972; it was a world we were lucky to survive and one to which no sane person should want to return.

Nuclear weapons and deterrence advocates like to claim that the invention of nuclear weapons is what has kept the peace among major powers since the end of World War II. However, it was the development of predictable, binding, legal agreements and enforced global norms of behavior across security, trade, and global issues—not nuclear arms—that helped the United States to become the most prosperous and secure country in history. The rules not only made the United States safer and richer but also helped usher in an unprecedented era of global prosperity. The preservation of that order is a vital national interest and is under attack by the Trump administration.

That Trump would seek to undermine the rules that have benefited U.S. prosperity and influence is bad enough. That he would try to disrupt the system that prevents nuclear anarchy is inexcusable…………..

After assuming office, Trump largely ignored the issue of the INF Treaty and nuclear stability, even passing on an early offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin to extend the New START agreement, which caps both Russia and the United States at 1,550 strategic offensively deployed nuclear weapons and will expire on Feb. 5, 2021, unless extended by a term of up to five years. Since then, there has been no evidence that Trump or any senior member of his administration has engaged with Russia in any serious way to bring it back into compliance with the INF Treaty. While the Defense Department’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review does briefly mention the agreement, it includes no strategy to restore Russian compliance and instead uses Russia’s violations to justify considering a new generation of sea-launched, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/10/31/trump-is-pushing-the-united-states-toward-nuclear-anarchy/

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November 3, 2018 - Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war

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