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Earlier this week, the United States officially left the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This has led many to question the reasoning behind the decision and the effects that this will have.
So, what is the INF Treaty anyway?
According to Foreign Policy, the treaty was signed in 1987 by leaders from the United States and the Soviet Union. It was meant to ban "ground-based missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers (about 300 to 3,400 miles)".
Since then, the United States and the rest of NATO has claimed that Russia has broken the treaty by building and deploying missiles that were supposed to be banned. Russia denies it broke the treaty.
In 2018, President Donald Trump said he would pull the United States out of the treaty if Russia didn't start complying to the terms both sides agreed on.
He gave Russia until August 2, 2019.
The date came and the United States pulled out of the treaty.
So, what's going to happen next?
Thomas Countryman is a former senior US diplomat and he says, "In the short term, there's no immediate physical change after Friday. The United States and Russia are not going to begin on Saturday deploying hundreds of new missiles".
However, The United States military has begun to find "funding and authorization" to begin building intermediate-range missiles.
So, is withdrawing a good thing?
Some people say that it will lead to another arms race.
The day before the treaty expired, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "When [the INF Treaty] expires tomorrow, the world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war. This will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles".
However, others say that it's alright since Russia has been violating the terms of the treaty.
Frank Klotz is a former administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and he says, "What do you do with a party that has entered into an agreement and is violating its obligations under that? Do you continue to stay in the treaty ... while one side is not following or abiding by it, or do you withdraw from the treaty?".
But what does Bryan Suits think about withdrawing from the INF Treaty? Listen below for a history of it and his thoughts on the story!