The INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) was a landmark agreement signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987. The treaty banned the development, testing, and deployment of land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. The INF Treaty was seen as a significant step towards reducing the risk of nuclear war between the two superpowers.
However, in 2019, the United States withdrew from the INF Treaty, citing Russia`s violations of the treaty`s terms. President Trump stated that the United States was “not going to let [Russia] violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons, and we`re not allowed to.”
The withdrawal from the INF Treaty has raised concerns among many experts and political leaders about the future of arms control agreements. The INF Treaty was one of the most significant arms control agreements of the Cold War era, and its collapse has raised fears that other agreements could be next.
One concern is that the collapse of the INF Treaty could lead to a new arms race between the United States and Russia. This could put more pressure on other arms control agreements, including the New START Treaty, which limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons that the United States and Russia can deploy.
Another concern is that the United States` withdrawal from the INF Treaty could lead to a new arms race between other countries. China, for example, was not a signatory to the INF Treaty, and now that the United States has withdrawn, it may feel free to develop and deploy missiles that were previously banned.
In conclusion, the INF Treaty was a significant agreement that helped reduce the risk of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, its collapse raises concerns about the future of arms control agreements, and the potential for a new arms race between major powers. It remains to be seen how the international community will respond to these challenges and whether new agreements can be negotiated to mitigate the risk of conflict.