The Atlantic

Trump’s Defensible Decision to Withdraw From a Nuclear Treaty

There’s a case to be made for leaving the INF—but the president’s administration has needlessly driven up the costs.
Source: Reuters

President Donald Trump’s national-security adviser has traveled to Moscow to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. That agreement precluded the U.S. and Russia from building or deploying ground-based conventional or nuclear missiles in the ranges from 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Because Trump announced this move at a typically unruly campaign rally, the administration’s motives may seem suspect—just another reckless effort to stir up the nationalist base.

Supporters of the treaty are out in force raising sensible objections. Columbia University’s “The INF treaty may be the most one-sidedly good “U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty … a loser all around.” The U.S. will be blamed by Europeans for collapsing the treaty, Russia will be free to threaten Europe with more nuclear weapons, and the U.S. will have no counter.

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