Paper on Foreign Policy: U.S. Gives Russia a Deadline on Nuclear Treaty)

Early this month, the USA’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Trump administration had given Russia a sixty-day ultimatum to comply with the terms of the INF Treaty or the USA would start formalizing the revocation of that agreement.  The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty made between the USA and the former Soviet Union and its successors is probably most dramatic ratifications the two superpowers agreed upon in the 1980s. The milestone treaty commonly abbreviated to INF came into force in a time when the USA government harbored constant fears on the Soviet Union’s military expansion and its growing advantage, which was a result of the massive production of INF missiles.  This fear was heightened by the development of inter-continental ballistic missiles, which made it possible for an aggressor to hit a target without being near it.

The treaty was thus a successful outcome in the nuclear age. It is a treaty that that came into force after countless negotiations between the parties. This treaty had been premised on the mutual assurance between Russia and the USA that they would eliminate their INF arsenal. The terms of the agreement do not, however, obligate any other state other that the two member states. This, therefore, acts to the detriment of the former superpowers who take pride in their military ability and economic power to influence their position in an already competitive world. In this case, as revealed by Harris and Erlanger (n.d.) China is not barred by this Treaty. Power and control rarely regards morals. This status is often maintained by a state’s military ability among other factors. Nuclear arsenal production and deployment can be regarded as one strategic resource that can maintain a miltary’s ability and credibility. Either State’s withdrawal from the treaty is, therefore, inevitable in the long run. Thirty-one years later, the treaty has been a major milestone towards a nuclear arms-free world. The three-decade milestone towards reducing nuclear stockpiles between Russia and the USA has been standing on shaky grounds for some time.

USA and Russia have a moralistic duty to aid in the control and deterrence of the use of nuclear arsenal given the devastating consequence a nuclear war can cause to the world Yet, using the empirical political theory, one cannot help but observe that the combination of political will, economic supremacy, and military ability are some of the strongest indicators of any great government. The fact that the implementation of the INF Treaty’s terms has been a topic of constant scrutiny and debates between both member states is, therefore, not a surprise. First, while the treaty bars the two states from developing, possessing, or deploying INF missiles, it does not put such obligations on other nations. This means that they can make and own massive arms of such caliber. Such a restraint is, therefore, detrimental to the two states’ military ability. This treaty the treaty is indefinite. It means that it does not provide an exit provision from its obligations. Despite this fact, either party has the discretion to withdraw from the treaty in the event of the existence of conclusive evidence warranting such a move. One such reason can be the breach to the terms under the agreement. USA has credible evidence to question the fidelity of Russia to the terms of that treaty; she can go ahead and withdraw from the agreement.


Work Cited

Harris, Gardiner,    Erlanger, Steven. U.S. Gives Russia A Deadline On Nuclear Treaty. New        York: The New York Times, 4 December 2018.   Retrieved from:  russia.html?register=google