The Landmark US-Russia Arms Control Treaty Is Dead
On Friday, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that played a key role in ending the Cold War nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, officially became defunct. The INF Treaty collapsed in February when the US government announced that it will pull out of the agreement, a move that was copied by Russia in March.
The end of the INF Treaty means that the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia our now only bound by one remaining agreement, namely the New START Treaty that is set to expire in 2021. Experts are concerned that New START may not be renewed either, or could even collapse before it lapses. A CNA study released earlier this year warned that without New START, “[n]either country would have the same degree of confidence in its ability to assess the other’s precise warhead levels,” and worst-case planning would become more likely.