In response to the Trump regime’s unilateral Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty pullout, former Soviet Russia President Mikhail Gorbachev said the move signals the beginning of a nuclear arms race.
He said, “Over 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan and I signed in Washington the United States Soviet Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-and shorter-range missiles.”
“For the first time in history, two classes of nuclear weapons were to be eliminated and destroyed” under terms of the landmark agreement.
In July 1991, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) followed, proposed by Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan—signed by Soviet Russia’s president and GHW Bush.
It prohibits both countries from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 ICBMs and bombers.
In 1993, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and GHW Bush signed START II—banning use of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
It never became effective. In January 1996, Senate members overwhelmingly rejected it by an 87-4 vote.
In April 2000, Russia ratified START II, withdrawing from the treaty in June 2002 because of Bush/Cheney’s ABM Treaty pullout.
In April 2010, New START, calling for further strategic nuclear disarmament, was ratified by Russia and the US, signed by then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Obama.
For Washington, rhetoric changed, not policy, nuclear disarmament not envisioned or planned, upgraded US weapons to replace outdated ones.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) pillars were disregarded—namely, non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use.
Nor did Obama and undemocratic Dems intend restoring the important ABM Treaty, abandoned by Bush/Cheney in June 2002.
Bush/Cheney’s 2005 Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations remains in force. Obama’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review was more about war making than prevention.
It’s all about removing the distinction between defensive and offensive deterrents, including the menacing triad of land and sea-based strategic bombers, land-based missiles, and ballistic missile submarines, as well as robust research development and industrial infrastructure to develop, build, and maintain unchallengeable offensive and defensive systems.
US missile defense is misnamed. It permits first-strike use of nuclear and conventional weapons, notably against Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea if denuclearization fails.
Last year, Trump called New START a bad treaty for capping deployment of nuclear warheads he wants increased—despite no US enemies since WW II ended, just invented ones, unjustifiably justifying endless imperial wars, along with provocative actions against Russia, China, Iran and other countries.
Trump wrongfully claimed New START advantaged Russia over the US, saying Moscow outsmarted Obama on “START Up,” the mischaracterization he used.
In his October 25 op-ed, Gorbachev said, “There are still too many nuclear weapons in the world”—even though their numbers are far below earlier peak levels.
Upgraded thermonukes likely have far greater destructive power. Trump’s announced INF pullout threatens a nuclear arms race over his stated “intention to build up [US] nuclear arms,” Gorbachev explained.
The stakes are potentially too ominous to ignore. Trump’s JCPOA and INF Treaty pullouts risk greater wars than already.
Gorbachev slammed what he called the Trump regime’s intent “to release the United States from any obligations, any constraints, and not just regarding nuclear missiles,” adding, “The United States has [effectively] destroy[ed] the entire system of international treaties and accords that served as the underlying foundation for peace and security following World War II.”
“There will be no winner in a ‘war of all against all’—particularly if it ends in a nuclear war.”
“And that is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. An unrelenting arms race, international tensions, hostility and universal mistrust, will only increase the risk.”
Gorbachev hopes Russia, the UN, especially Security Council members, and rest of the world community “will take responsible action faced with this dire threat to peace . . .”
“We must not resign, we must not surrender,” he stressed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.