U.S. To Withdraw From INF Treaty

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(The Guardian) US will withdraw from nuclear treaty, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States is pulling out of a key nuclear treaty, according to CNN.

Here’s a statement from Donald Trump explaining the decision, via Bloomberg News..

The treaty has been a centerpiece of superpower arms control since the Cold War and some analysts worry its demise could fuel a new arms race, according to the Associated Press. More from AP: An American withdrawal, which has been expected for months, would follow years of unresolved dispute over Russian compliance with the pact, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty. It was the first arms control measure to ban an entire class of weapons: ground-launched cruise missiles with a range between 500 kilometers (310 miles) and 5,500 kilometers (3,400 miles). Russia denies that it has been in violation.

U.S. officials also have expressed worry that China, which is not party to the 1987 treaty, is gaining a significant military advantage in Asia by deploying large numbers of missiles with ranges beyond the treaty’s limit. Leaving the INF treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it’s unclear how it would do that.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in early December that Washington would give Moscow 60 days to return to compliance before it gave formal notice of withdrawal, with actual withdrawal taking place six months later. The 60-day deadline expires on Saturday, and the administration is expected to say as early as Friday that efforts to work out a compliance deal have failed and that it would suspend its compliance with the treaty’s terms.