WASHINGTON DC, The United States – Russian missiles with conventional warheads are more deadly than nuclear weapons, and the United States is making a big mistake when it comes to backing out of the Intermediate Forces Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), according to the Foreign Policy issue.
According to the article, the exit of the treaty can be fatal for Washington. Thus, Moscow does not need to increase its nuclear potential, however, breaking the treaty will allow it to position new ground-based missiles with conventional warheads.
The magazine wrote that at the time of signing the INF, the parties did not take into account that the treaty would also prohibit missiles with non-nuclear warheads, considered as secondary after their nuclear analogues.
However, several experts have understood the potential that a conventional high-precision weapon can have. In connection with this, the issue recalled the words of Nikolai Ogarkov, then chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR, in 1984. According to him, high-precision missiles with increased range could dramatically increase the destructive capabilities of conventional weapons, which would bring them closer to the nuclear ones in terms of effectiveness.
In addition, Foreign Policy stressed that NATO uses a large range of cruise missiles that are also limited by the INF. Placing this type of weapon on ships, submarines and military aircraft was a way to escape the treaty.
In turn, for Russia the only way to respond to the threat of the West is the development of more deadly non-nuclear ground-based missiles. According to the edition, Moscow has these technologies, while leaving Washington would allow them to be realized.
The INF Treaty is an agreement signed between the USSR and the US in 1987. The parties have committed to destroy all ballistic missile and ground-based cruise systems of medium range (from 1,000 to 5,500 km) and short (500- 1,000 km) as well as not to produce, test or deploy them in the future.
In recent years, Moscow and Washington have accused each other of violating INF. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on December 4, 2018 that Russia had 60 days to “return to compliance” with the INF. He added that if this does not happen, Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty. According to the US, the country may leave the treaty as early as February 2.