Trump Formally Abandons the Open Skies Treaty

Trump Regime Formally Abandons the Open Skies Treaty

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Months earlier the move was announced. Now it’s official, effective November 22, a fateful date.

Friday on this date in 1963, CIA assassins killed JFK, a moment in time I vividly remember.

At lunch with colleagues when the news broke, the work day halted. 

Five years later in April and June 1968 respectively, MLK and RFK met the same fate — by similar deep state assassins.

Anyone of prominence against permanent wars and governance of, by, and for privileged interests at the expense of most others risks ending up the same way.

That’s how the scourge of imperialism and predatory capitalism operates.

After threatening to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty earlier, Trump confirmed the move last May.

At the time, he lied like countless other times, saying:

“Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty (sic), so until they adhere we will pull out…”

Effective January 1, 2002, 34 European states, the US, and Russia adopted the Open Skies Treaty (OST), other nations welcomed to join at the time.

Last May, Pompeo said the Trump regime “will submit (formal) notice of its decision to withdraw from the” OST to other treaty signatories, the move effective six months from May 22.

The OST permits unarmed aerial surveillance over the entire territory of signatory countries.

It’s a confidence-building measure to promote openness, letting treaty members get information on military forces and activities for national security reasons.

The US FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) suspended funding related to OST cooperation with Russia.

A Biden/Harris regime and 117th Congress most likely will be unwilling to restore it next year.

NDAA legislation prohibits US military cooperation with Russia indefinitely.

It’s filled with a litany of bald-faced Big Lies about Russia.

In response to the Trump regime’s intention to abandon OST last May, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the following:

“It is the Russian side that has clear and long-formulated claims against the Americans as to (non)compliance with this agreement.” 

“And today, right now, we will reiterate these claims, these thorny issues.”

“We described (them) in detail. In particular in February, we put together on our resources all the claims that we had, making them publicly available.” 

“These are far from all claims, but (are) the most evident.”

“For example, we said that since 2017 the US has tightened its approaches to fulfilling this treaty in regard to Russia, and since January 2018, several restrictions have been imposed against our country.” 

“This (includes) the refusal to grant permission to depart from US rules of air traffic and norms of aviation security and changing special procedures for performing observation flights over the Hawaiian Islands by limiting maximum range of flights from Hickam airbase, and the refusal to allow overnight stops on mainland US and many other things.”

The OPT “has a format of implementation. (It) has commitments of parties, which were confirmed on paper.”

Time and again, the US breaches international agreements and the rule of law.

Last May,  Russia’s Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov called Trump regime accusations of Moscow OST breaches baseless.

Throughout nearly four years in office, Trump and hardliners in charge of his geopolitical agenda proved time and again that they’re deal-breakers, not makers.

They abandoned the landmark 1987 INF Treaty with Russia, the 2016 JCPOA, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and the 2016 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a latter positive move unlike the regime’s other unilateral pullouts.

It also withdrew from UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Council, threatened to leave the World Trade Organization (WTO), and suspended US funding to the WHO.

New START — the last remaining arms control agreement with Russia — is virtually dead unless Biden/Harris revive it.

For his part, Trump broke virtually every positive promise made — time and again saying one thing, then going another way. He won’t be missed. 

At the same time, an incoming Dem regime is likely to be more belligerent and as indifferent toward the rights and welfare of ordinary Americans as the outgoing one.

Both right wings of the one-party state made the country of opportunity I grew up in long ago unsafe and unfit to live in today.

Based on the current trend, the next four years are likely to exceed the worst of past times.

It’s the wrong time for ordinary Americans when its leadership and lawmakers are hostile to their rights and welfare.

That’s the disturbing state of the nation. 

The one I grew up in long ago is gone, likely never to reappear again.

VISIT MY WEBSITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at

My two Wall Street books are timely reading:

“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”


“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”

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