The U.S. Will Develop Newly Unbanned Weapons as a Key Missile Treaty Ends

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A JASSM missile undergoing launch tests from a F-16 fighter over the Gulf of Mexico, 2018. Image: SMgst Michael Jackson (Air Force)

 

The United States is planning to quickly develop two new missiles previously banned by a 30-year-old arms control treaty. America’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, sparked by allegations of Russian cheating, is paving the way for Washington to match Russian weapons with new missiles of its own. The U.S. will test the missiles as soon as this August, within days of the end of the treaty.

The two missile types, a ground-launched cruise missile and an intermediate-range ballistic missile, were previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The INF Treaty, signed in 1987, banned land-based missiles with ranges from 310 to 3,420 miles.

Although the treaty itself didn’t ban actual nuclear weapons, it removed key nuclear delivery systems from the inventories of both the U.S. and U.S.S.R., dramatically lowering the number of nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. Continue reading

China Opposes U.S. Withdrawal From Missile Treaty to Keep Advantage

Russian Defense Ministry officials show off the Russia's 9M729 cruise missile at the military Patriot Park outside Moscow

Russian Defense Ministry officials show off the Russia’s 9M729 cruise missile at the military Patriot Park outside Moscow / Getty Images

 

Beijing using arms control to protect 2,000 intermediate-range missiles but refused to join INF treaty

China is opposed to the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty while refusing to join the arms accord to avoid limiting its large missile forces, according to a congressional report.

In contrast to the ban on U.S. and Russian intermediate-range missiles, “remaining outside the pact has allowed China to rapidly expand its missile arsenal as part of a military strategy designed to counter U.S. and allied military power in Asia,” states a staff report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission made public this week. Continue reading

Putin: Russia has enough missiles without violating treaty

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the top military staff in the Russian Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. Putin said that new Russian weapons have no foreign equivalents, helping ensure the nation’s security for decades to come. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday rejected the U.S. claim that Russia developed a new cruise missile in violation of a key nuclear treaty, arguing that Russia has no need for such a land-based weapon because it already has similar missiles on its ships and aircraft.

Washington warned this month it would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days if Russia did not return to full compliance. The U.S. claims the 9M729 cruise missile breaches the INF, which bans all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles.) Continue reading

U.S. to Address Impending INF Withdrawal at NATO Summit

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats / Getty Images

 

DNI Coats: Slim chance U.S. will remain in INF treaty

Senior U.S. officials will soon brief allies on plans to withdraw from a bilateral nuclear arms control treaty with Russia in the wake of repeated violations by Moscow, the nation’s top intelligence officer said Tuesday.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told reporters he will speak with European partners during this week’s NATO summit in Brussels to address the threat posed by Russian violations of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF. Continue reading

Trump To Pull U.S. Out Of 1987 Nuclear Weapons Treaty With Russia

 

As Russia continues to outmaneuver the US by developing new ballistic missiles like the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, as well as hypersonic weapons capable of carrying a nuclear payload, President Trump said Saturday that he plans to abandon a 1987 arms-control treaty that has (on paper, at least) prohibited the US and Russia from deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles as Russia has continued to “repeatedly violate” its terms according to the president, the Associated Press reports.

“We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement,” Trump said Saturday after a campaign rally in Elko, Nevada. “We’re going to terminate the agreement.” Continue reading