WASHINGTON DC – After months of charges brought against Russia, the US abandoned the Intermediate Reach Nuclear Foils (INF) treaty signed between the USSR and the US in 1987.
By taking this step, and with a single nuclear weapons control agreement still remaining, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) leaves a big question mark pending about the fate of our entire planet.
Friday marked the official end of the US-Russia INF treaty, despite Moscow’s calls for dialogue in recent months.
As if that weren’t enough, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said during a speech at the annual Conservative Student Conference that New START would be the next deal to cancel.
“It [the treaty] did not cover tactical range nuclear weapons or the new Russian carrier systems. The treaty is due to expire in February 2021 and, as long as no decision has been made, it is unlikely to be extended. So we should extend the system defective just to say we have a treaty?” asked John Bolton rhetorically.
Kevin Kamps, a nuclear waste control expert at the non-governmental organization Beyond Nuclear, was invited to a special Sputnik program to discuss what the end of the INF treaty might mean to the world and explained why it is necessary for countries to reach a new arms control agreement in these times of nuclear weapons proliferation.
“The Intermediate Reach Nuclear Forces treaty, signed by [US President Ronald] Reagan and [Soviet Secretary General Mikhail] Gorbachev in 1987, is one of the central pillars of US nuclear control between Russia and Russia. Its cessation is a huge shakeup. It is a very serious matter,” said Kevin Kamps.
“Unfortunately, thousands of nuclear weapons remain in a state of immediate readiness between the two countries, and as these arms control agreements are eliminated, the stakes increase and we return to Cold War times, back to an arms race again,” said expert.
‘We are putting the planet at risk’
Kamps pointed out that the US is the only country that has used nuclear weapons in wars, recalling that there is something “ironic” about the moment of US exit from the INF agreement, given the dates when the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Ngasaki, were carried out, August 6 and 9 respectively.
“I think the US has become very quickly addicted to the power that nuclear weapons give them at international level over other countries,” said Kamps. “The US did not expect the USSR to reach them that fast. The Soviet Union only needed four years to get a nuclear weapon,” he said.
“We are endangering the planet. We are endangering our countries, but we now know that only a hundred Nagasaki-sized bombs, which are relatively small, detonated, say between India and Pakistan, would be sufficient to plunging the planet into a nuclear winter that would lead to the death of 2 billion people.
On August 2, the INF Treaty was canceled. Earlier this year, Washington announced the unilateral exit from the deal, accusing Russia of violating the treaty. Moscow denies all allegations. In early July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decree suspending the deal.