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Who profits from the end of the mid-range nuclear treaty?

By       Message Pepe Escobar       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   6 comments

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From Asia Times

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The US move to shelve the Intermediate-range Nuclear-Forces treaty could accelerate the demise of the whole post-WWII Western alliance, and herald a bad remix of the 1930s

From en.kremlin.ru: Military parade on Red Square {MID-320674}
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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its Doomsday Clock to only 2 minutes to midnight. It might be tempting to turn this into a mere squabble about arrows and olives if this wasn't such a terrifying scenario.

US president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, secretary-general of the USSR, signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987.

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The Arms Control Association was extremely pleased. "The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification."

Three decades later, the Trump administration wants to unilaterally pull out of the INF Treaty.

Earlier this week President Trump sent his national security adviser John Bolton to officially break the news to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

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As they were discussing extremely serious issues such as implications of a dissolving INF Treaty, the perpetuation of anti-Russia sanctions, the risk of not extending a new START Treaty and the deployment, in Putin's words, of "some elements of the missile shield in outer space," the Russian President got into, well, arrows and olives:

"As I recall, there is a bald eagle pictured on the US coat of arms: it holds 13 arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other as a symbol of peaceful policy: a branch with 13 olives. My question: has your eagle already eaten all the olives leaving only the arrows?"

Bolton's response: "I didn't bring any olives."

From en.kremlin.ru: John Bolton meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin {MID-320673}
John Bolton meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin
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A "new strategic reality"?

By now it's clear the Trump administration's rationale for pulling out of the INF Treaty is due, in Bolton's words, to "a new strategic reality." The INF is being dismissed as a "bilateral treaty in a multi-polar ballistic missile world," which does not take into consideration the missile capabilities of China, Iran and North Korea.

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But there is a slight problem. The INF Treaty limits missiles with a range from 500 km to 5,000 km. China, Iran and North Korea simply cannot pose a "threat" to the United States by deploying such missiles. The INF is all about the European theater of war.

So, it's no wonder the reaction in Brussels and major European capitals has been of barely disguised horror.

EU diplomats have told Asia Times the US decision was a "shock," and "the last straw for the EU as it jeopardizes our very existence, subjecting us to nuclear destruction by short-range missiles," which would never be able to reach the US heartland.

The "China" reason -- that Russia is selling Beijing advanced missile technology -- simply does not cut it in Europe, as the absolute priority is European security. EU diplomats are establishing a parallel to the possibility -- which was more than real last year -- that Washington could nuclear-bomb North Korea unilaterally. South Korea and Japan, in that case, would be nuclear "collateral damage." The same might happen to Europe in the event of a US-Russia nuclear shoot-out.

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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6 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments


Leslie Johnson

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Seems unlikely that sanity will prevail and that all nuclear weapons will be dismantled...that all wars will end..that Man's Inhumanity to Man will cease...that World Peace will prevail and endure...


I put the responsibility for that pessimistic outlook squarely on the the US.


Beam Me Up, Scotty.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 5:23:59 PM

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BFalcon

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Wars existed before the US, your bias is wrong.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 26, 2018 at 2:11:40 PM

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Alexander Kershaw

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Suppose Europe as a matter of self defense dropped out of NATO. They would be safer. The only time Russia, USSR, invaded Western Europe was to defeat the Nazis. Russia wants Europe to be a major trading partner. Europe wants Russia to continue supplying the many necessary raw materials a modern industria economy needs. Neither needs the US. Suppose Germany and/or France held a referendum to withdraw from NATO. I think the people would vote to withdraw. Would make for some interesting politics.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 7:03:24 PM

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Devil's Advocate

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"Im-a-gine all the peo-ple..."

[RIP John Lennon]


Sorry, couldn't help myself. :)

Submitted on Friday, Oct 26, 2018 at 3:33:28 AM

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Peter Franzen

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Reply to Devil's Advocate:   New Content

I was thinking the same myself but you beat me to it.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 26, 2018 at 12:46:18 PM

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Stan Crawford

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Trump is doing this to pander to the US MIC economy. The US would not tolerate Germany to withdraw from NATO, having so many US military bases there; to keep its Europe/M.E./Africa interests in check. In actuality, Europe has far more to gain economically with a Russia/China alliance with the OBOR initiative moving forward; that the US is trying to thwart.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 26, 2018 at 2:02:51 PM

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