Because of Russian violations, U.S. withdraws from nuclear arms treaty


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The United States announced today that it is withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty because of numerous and long-standing violations by Russia.

[Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo explained that Russia has been violating the treaty for years, and despite those violations, the U.S. has attempted to maintain the agreement. “To this day, Russia remains in material breach of its treaty obligations not to produce, possess, or flight test a ground-launched intermediate cruise missile system with a range between 500 and 5500 kilometers,” Pompeo explained. “We have raised Russia’s noncompliance with Russian officials, including at the highest levels of government, more than 30 times, yet Russia continues to deny that its missile system is noncompliant and violates the treaty,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said Russia’s violation of the treaty has compromised U.S. security interests. “It’s our duty to respond appropriately,” Pompeo said. “When an agreement is so brazenly disregarded, and our security is so openly threatened, we must respond.”

The announcement comes one day ahead of the 60-day deadline the U.S. gave Russia to return to compliance with the treaty.

The treaty calls for a six month period following this announcement for the withdrawal to be completed.

Though the announcement mentions a specific “a prohibited missile system,” it does not say what that missile system is. I suspect it might be the hypersonic missile the Russians have tested and say they will deploy this year.

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4 comments

  • pzatchok

    Nothing goes faster than a laser.

    They obviously developed this because they truly believe that their enemies were able to defeat their other weapons.

    It looks like they added their S-400 high speed maneuvering system to a high speed re-entry vehicle.

    The Russians are acting like this thing is almost as maneuverable as a plane. It dodges around a bit but never changes its trajectory much. It can’t make a true turn in the air. At that speed any control surfaces are useless. Wings and fins do nothing.
    If it did make true turns it would spend too much time in the air to a make a very good attack vehicle.

  • David

    The real complaint about violating the treaty has been focused on the 9M729 Iskander missiles which started being tested and in 2014 and deployed in 2017. Russia claims that these ground-launched cruise missiles have a range of less than 500km and are thus INF compliant, but I don’t think anyone believes that claim, our official stance is that it’s capable of range that violates the treaty limits.

  • pzatchok

    I don’t believe anything the Russians say.

    Just look at their space program. if their military manufacturing system is even close they have a very high chance of having hundreds of nonfunctional missiles in their inventory.

    I trust nothing of theirs more technical than a Tank or RPG.

  • Col Beausabre

    Actually, the Iskander is the 9K720 missile, whose 30 to 250 mile range falls outside the INF parameters. The 9M729 may be derived from the other missile – it appears to use the same TEL. – but the US claims its range capability takes it into the INF category. If this is true, the 9K720 TEL’s would be illegal as there is no way to tell them from the 9M729 vehicles and, in theory, Russia would have to scrap them, leaving the Iskander without a launcher. Fat chance. In terms of a US response, we scrapped our Lance (75 miles) and Pershing (480 miles) ballistic missiles and Gryphon (1600 mile) cruise missiles as well as the 155mm and 8 inch nuclear artillery rounds. The only thing left in the US arsenal except for the ICBM’s and SLBM’s are free-fall bombs dropped from aircraft – a risky proposition in light of modern air defenses.

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