Pressure mounts on Trump in Russia’s nuclear missiles progressApril 4, 2017
If President Donald Trump falls to the military establishment in the Pentagon’s wishes, we will soon see friction between Washington and Moscow on a thorny issue.
At this very moment, pressure is building on the White House -from the direction of the Pentagon – and directed at Russia’s so- called violation of a missile treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The military is telling Trump this is a big security issue that he has to tackle very soon in order to rope in the rogue Russian government under President Vladimir Putin.
This concerns a 30-year-old treaty that bans intermediate-range missiles based on land.
The New Youk Times in an editorial today said the way the administration reacts will say a lot about how it views the threat from Russia and how this will have a profound effect on European security.
In one go, it brought Trump and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), through the Europeans into one basket of security that would go up in fire if Mr. Donald does not tick Vlad on the ‘violation’.
NYT said: “An American decision to withdraw from the treaty, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or I.N.F., would be disastrous.
The treaty, a cornerstone of an international arms control regime that has prevented nuclear war, was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader.
It prohibits the testing, production, and possession of ballistic and cruise missiles, with either nuclear or conventional warheads, that can travel between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Sea-based missiles and air-launched missiles are not affected.”
However, a recent Heritage Foundation issue brief on nuclear weapons policy advocated, among other things, that the Trump administration withdraw from the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, as well as end consideration of ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The prestigious organisation said the Americans should withdraw from the New START negotiations, for example.
But The Brookings Institution said arms control treaties are more important with nuclear powers with which America has an adversarial relationship.
“New START’s limits cap the strategic nuclear competition, and the treaty’s data exchanges, notifications, and inspections provide important information about Russian strategic forces. The U.S. military is not all that worried about the nuclear capabilities of Britain and France,” it said.
Trump has also expressed concern that the United States has “fallen behind” in its nuclear weapons capacity and that he would like to restore its supremacy.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Trump said he would prefer a world free of nuclear weapons but otherwise the United States should be “at the top of the pack.”
With Trump promising a nuclear arms race, and a possible intervention in North Korea against Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, it is clear the world will see a rash of events soon,
And it appears that the only leader who can put some sense in Trump’s ears is no other than Vladimir Putin himself.
Now, will Putin go all the way from Moscow to stop Trump from unleashing a nuclear weapons prolification?
Some observers believe Trump’s nuclear mumbo-jumbo is directed at both China and North Korea, and that soon he will issue decrees on how he intends to tackle these two nations on the issue.
But it is also clear the military establishment from its rabbit hole in the Pentagon and the Nato does not want Trump to stop there.
They argue that more should be done to stop Putin’s ‘blatant’ violation of the treaties pointing out his complaints about the limitations of these treaties.
Russia has indeed argued that countries like China, India and Pakistan, which have active missile programs, do not have similar constraints.
It is clear though that if Trump were to bow to the pressures, he will have to deal with Putin, the man who the Americans are saying helped him win the American Presidential elections.