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Need for a prcactical treaty to cap and eliminate nuclear cruise missiles

Nuclear ‘cruise control’ can stop a spiraling new arms race, The Hill, The genius of the mortally wounded Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was that it sharply reduced the risk of nuclear war. It made Europe more secure by eliminating an entire class of surprise-attack nuclear weapons designed for use on its territory. We are now on a glide path to repeat the existential nightmare that such weapons created.Russia and the United States once again are investing heavily in sea-, air- and ground-launched nuclear cruise missiles, and talking cavalierly about using them in “limited,” “low-yield” nuclear attacks. What makes this type of nuclear weapon so dangerous is that it can be launched without warning in decapitating sneak attacks.

These cruise missiles also can be armed with conventional explosives, and there is no way to distinguish nuclear from non-nuclear ones when they are in flight. Such ambiguity erases the line between conventional and nuclear weapons, and increases the likelihood of accidental Armageddon. This is precisely why, in 1987, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev urgently made progress in eliminating them.

We can, and must, seek to repeat their historic achievement today. We need to remember that arms control is not a pollyannaish exercise, but rather a potent tool of hard national security……….

Recently, Russia’s top arms control diplomat said Russia stands ready for talks on a possible successor to the INF Treaty. “We are ready for dialogue,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “If the U.S. is interested, it should spell out its proposal.”

Since it appears nobody has done so, let’s spell it out. Our next agreement should focus less on overall numbers and, instead, seek to cap and eliminate the single most dangerous and destabilizing class of nuclear weapons: all nuclear-tipped cruise missiles of any range. We should start “cruise control” negotiations bilaterally between the United States and Russia, and leave room for other countries that have not yet deployed such systems — including China, India and Pakistan — to join now or later.

For three years, my colleagues and I have been laying the groundwork for such an ambitious global effort to cap and eliminate nuclear cruise missiles. In private talks with current and former senior officials from the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Germany, Japan and other key countries, we have found broad support and enthusiasm for this approach.   ………


March 12, 2019 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war

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