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By Dan Smith, Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. He is also a part-time Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manchester, affiliated with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. Until August, 2015, he was Secretary General of International Alert, the London-based international peacebuilding organization. Originally published at his blog; cross posted from openDemocracy
At a political rally on Saturday 20 October President Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987. This confirms what has steadily unfolded over the last couple of years: the architecture of US-Russian nuclear arms control is crumbling.
Building Blocks of Arms Control
As the Cold War ended, four new building blocks of east-west arms control were laid on top of foundations set by the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972:
– The 1987 INF Treaty eliminated all ground-launched missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometres, including both cruise and ballistic missiles. – The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) reduced the numbers of strategic nuclear weapons; further cuts were agreed in 2002 and again in 2010 in the New START agreement. – The 1990 Treaty on