Farewell to an Arms Treaty
Feb 27, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
A long-embattled arms control pact signed by Moscow and Washington in 1987 took its biggest hit yet this month. On Feb. 14, allegations emerged that the Russians had deployed operational units equipped with missiles that violate the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). In response, three U.S. senators introduced the INF Preservation Act, which among other measures calls for the United States to develop its own prohibited missiles. The precarious state of the treaty adds urgency to questions about the potential consequences of its demise, particularly since both countries have growing incentives to abandon the pact. Withdrawal by either Moscow or Washington would compel a rapid buildup of short- and medium-range missiles by both militaries, a surge of investment in missile defense, and a boost to U.S. capabilities in the Western Pacific.