The Trump administration's announcement of withdrawal from the INF Treaty, a key nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia, is a major blow to the nuclear security safety net constructed over several decades. The withdrawal will likely further thrust the US and Russia into a dangerous new nuclear arms race.
We still have time to prevent the worst from happening. Congress can stop the production of new weapons that the INF Treaty prohibits. The production of these weapons would spur Russia and other countries to build more weapons and develop new capabilities, fueling a vicious cycle.
Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione wrote an illuminating and informative article for The Washington Post: John Bolton is a serial arms control killer.
Upon the announcement of suspension, Ploughshares Fund and our grantees were called upon by the media as credible experts sounding the alarm for better US nuclear weapons policy to keep ourselves, and the world, safe.
Joe Cirincione spoke with Hallie Jackson on MSNBC about withdrawal from the INF Treaty. He said, "This is not standing up to Russia, this is giving them a gift...this scares our allies, it demoralizes our friends, and it lets our adversaries off the hook. This is a dangerous turn of events." Cirincione spoke later in the day on MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi, KCBS Radio, and CBC (Canada), and has more appearances coming up on television and in print. We'll post links as they become available:
- US announces withdrawal from INF nuclear arms treaty with Russia, Los Angeles Times
- Trump hands Putin gift in missile treaty withdrawal, MSNBC
Here is Joe Cirincione's appearance on CBC (Canada).
We saw a fantasic piece from a long-time grantee, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in The New York Times, an op-ed by their president and chief executive, Dr. Rachel Bronson: "Welcome to the New Age of Nuclear Instability: The good news is that the downward spiral can be stopped."
In Defense One, Ploughshares Fund policy director Tom Collina highlighted the dangers of an INF Treaty withdrawal last November: "If the INF Treaty collapses, National Security Advisor John Bolton, an ardent foe of bipartisan arms control, would shift his sights to the 2010 New START Treaty. And if New START is not extended by 2021, its lapse would, for the first time in 50 years, leave US and Russian nuclear arsenals unconstrained by any verifiable limits … a new nuclear arms race would ensue."
Unfortunately, the INF Treaty withdrawal is part of a widening trend, beginning with the Trump administration's plans to spend $2 trillion during the next 30 years to rebuild the US arsenal – plans which will likely push Russia, China and other countries to build even more nuclear weapons and develop new capabilities.
Learn more about what you can do to stop a new nuclear arms race and stay informed by signing up as a supporter and receive our free email newsletter, or start by making a gift to Ploughshares Fund today. If you designate your giving to the Ploughshares Fund Women's Initiative, your gift will be doubled. Learn more here. For over 37 years Ploughshares Fund has supported the most effective people and organizations in the world to reduce and eventually eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. Join us.
Photo: Soviet inspectors and their American escorts stand among several dismantled Pershing II missiles as they view the destruction of other missile components. The missiles are being destroyed in accordance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. 14 January 1989. MSGT Jose Lopez, Jr.. Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.