Fifty years ago, shortly after the conclusion of the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States and the Soviet Union launched the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). Negotiated in the midst of severe tensions, the SALT agreement and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty were the first restrictions on the superpowers’ massive strategic offensive weapons, as well as on their emerging strategic defensive systems. The SALT agreement and the ABM Treaty slowed the arms race and opened a period of U.S.-Soviet detente that lessened the threat of nuclear war.
A U.S. initiative to define a better environment for nuclear disarmament threatens to undermine the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty regime.
U.S. and Russian officials see no quick and easy extension to New START.
Treaty-prohibited missiles to be tested after INF Treaty termination.
In the absence of active U.S.-Russian efforts to resolve disagreements over the INF Treaty, other nations may be
able to lead the way toward preventing a new arms race.
The INF Treaty crisis threatens far more than the INF Treaty.
Every U.S. president since John Kennedy has successfully concluded at least one agreement with Russia or the Soviet Union to reduce nuclear dangers. These agreements have helped to slash nuclear stockpiles, manage nuclear competition, and provide greater stability, thereby reducing the risk of nuclear catastrophe between the world’s two largest nuclear actors.
Termination of the INF Treaty allows Russia and the United States to deploy new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles, increasing the risk of a new destabilizing arms race. Congress must adopt legislation to prohibit funding for the procurement, flight-testing, or deployment of U.S. ground-launched or ballistic missiles until the Trump administration meets seven specific conditions.