Everything to know about the INF Treaty
What is the INF Treaty?
INF Treaty stands for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. As discussed earlier, it was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on the year 1987 and approved in the year 1988 by the United States Senate. Additionally, the INF Treaty was ratified by Reagan and Gorbachev in the year 1988.The primary concern of this treaty was to eliminate all of two nation’s land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short medium-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range).
INF Treaty did not apply to air-launched or sea-launched missiles. In the year 1991, around 2692 missiles were eliminated by the nations and followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.
On 20 October 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the US from the treaty. So, the treaty was formally suspended on 1st February 2019. On the other hand, Russia did so on the same day in response to the US withdrawal.
What is the impact of U.S. decision on Asia, specifically China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea?
The decision of U.S. about the INF Treaty conveys a message to all four nations that the arms control is no longer an important global norm. If Russia and the U.S. undermine that norm, all these four countries, including India, China, North Korea, and Pakistan may feel less constrained while developing their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
What is the impact of U.S. decision on allies?
There are a number of NATO member states that are not supporting the Trump administration’s decision related to the INF Treaty. Some opposition may try to re-introduce ground-based intermediate-range missile in Europe. On the other hand, the prime minister of Japan reportedly nominated President Trump for the Nobel Prize of Peace. Also, he endorses an aggressive new U.S. nuclear posture, which may result in the re-introduction of U.S. nuclear weapons into Asia along with Japan as well.
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