Trump Regime Formally Abandons the INF Treaty

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Trump Regime Formally Abandons the INF Treaty

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Honest historians won’t treat Trump kindly — his regime likely to be remembered as the most recklessly dangerous one in US history, he as the most unfit ever US leader.

Surrounded by neocon hardliners, he’s defined by his geopolitical wrecking ball agenda, including endless propaganda, sanctions, and hot wars against nonbelligerent countries, his ecocidal policies, overt racist contempt for people of the wrong race and/or ethnicity, and dismissiveness toward ordinary people everywhere.

Abandonment of US international obligations also defines his time in office, more of the same likely coming.

On August 2, he officially pulled out of the landmark 1987 INF Treaty — based on Big Lies. More on this below.

He abandoned the Paris Climate Agreement, though it was more sham than substantive, largely because of Obama regime-led meaningless piecemeal pledges — bullying, bribing, and threatening small poorer nations to go along. 

Rich countries refused to cut their fossil fuel emissions enough to matter or at all. Climate Justice Alliance coordinator Ananda Lee Tan said “(o)nce again, world leaders have shown they lack the political courage, decency, and integrity to stand up for the needs of the most impacted communities around the world in the biggest ecological crisis of our time.”

Trump abandoned Obama’s pretense by pulling out of the agreement altogether. 

He walked away from NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the wrong reasons — related to his unacceptable MAGA agenda.

Both agreements are stealth corporate coups, giveaways to corporate predators, neoliberal ripoffs, freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmares.

Corporate lobbyists and lawyers wrote them, exclusively benefitting business interests at the expense of public health and welfare.

Trump regime officials also renegotiated terms of the South Korean Trade Deal for MAGA reasons.

He abandoned the UN Human Rights Commission, UNESCO, and the JCPOA based on Big Lies.

After he threatened last winter to pull out of the INF Treaty, based on nonexistent Russian violations, Sergey Lavrov said the following:

“According to our information, the United States started violating (the INF Treaty) in 1999 when it began trials of combat unmanned flying vehicles with specifications similar to those of ground-launched cruise missiles banned by the treaty,” adding:

“Later it started using target missiles, ballistic target missiles, for testing its missile defense system, whereas starting in 2014 it began deploying in Europe launching pads for its positioning areas of missile defense – Mk 41 launching pads, which may absolutely be used without any changes and to launch Tomahawk medium-range cruise missiles.”

“That is a direct violation of the treaty. Such systems have already been deployed in Romania, are being prepared for deployment in Poland, as well as in Japan.”

The US is an INF violator, not Russia, falsely blaming the Kremlin for its own breaches.

Moscow did all it could to save the treaty — to preserve global strategic stability the Trump regime walked away from.

Lavrov said Russia “offered unprecedented transparency measures that go far beyond our liabilities on that treaty to convince the Americans that we do not violate that important document.”

The Trump regime “torpedoed those proposals and in response put forward another ultimatum.”

The landmark 1987 Reagan/Gorbachev 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, near the end of the Cold War, stepped back from the brink of possible nuclear confrontation. 

It required the elimination of all nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 310 – 620 miles (short-range) and 620 – 3,420 miles (intermediate range), along with their launchers.

Compliance has been monitored by technical means, on site inspections and cooperative measures. The agreement was the first bilateral treaty designed to reduce nuclear arms. Previous ones only established ceilings.

Pulling out of the JCPOA and INF Treaty increases the risk of greater conflicts and chaos by escalating tensions instead of reducing them.

Falsely blaming Russia for INF breaches began after the Obama regime’s February 2014 coup in Ukraine, replacing democratic governance with Nazi-infested fascist tyranny.

Trump escalated what Obama began five years ago. Moscow categorically rejected false US accusations, typical of how it operates, blaming others for its own wrongdoing.

Abandonment of the INF Treaty virtually assures a greater arms race than already, including a buildup of nuclear weapons when drawing them down toward elimination is vitally needed to avoid the risk of potentially catastrophic consequences.

Mikhail Gorbachev, now aged-88, reportedly in poor health, commented on the Trump regime’s abandonment of the landmark treaty he and Ronald Reagan agreed on, saying the following:

“The termination of the treaty will hardly be beneficial for the international community. This move undermines security not only in Europe, but in the whole world,” adding:

“This US move will cause uncertainty and chaotic development of international politics.”

In June, John Bolton said “it’s unlikely” that the Trump regime will renew New START before it expires in February 2021.

It calls for for reducing the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers by half, limiting the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,500.

It also limits the number of ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers, and nuclear capable heavy warplanes. 

It calls for satellite and other monitoring, as well as annual on-site inspections to assure both sides comply with terms agreed on.

Bolton, Pompeo, and other Trump regime hardliners want no restraints on US weapons development and deployments, part of its permanent war agenda.

In early 2019, Putin said Washington’s geopolitical agenda “could lead to the destruction of civilization as a whole and maybe even our planet.” 

“We are witnessing the breakup of the arms control system,” heightening the threat of possible nuclear war by accident or design.

Geopolitical know-nothing Trump called New START “a bad deal,” renewal highly unlikely if he’s reelected next year, adding another notch on his broken agreements belt if he follows through as expected.

According to Arms, “(f)or more than 50 years, every US president has proposed and pursued negotiations with Moscow as a means to regulate destabilizing nuclear arms competition and reduce the risk of the United States and its allies being destroyed in a nuclear war.” 

“They sought and concluded a series of treaties, with strong bipartisan support, that have made America and the world much safer.”

The Trump regime is “veering away from this tradition, to the detriment of our national security.”

He and hardliners surrounding him are agreement breachers, not makers, the world far less safe on their watch.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.