go to top
Russia’s Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile blasts off during a test launch from the Plesetsk launch pad in northwestern Russia, March 30, 2018 (Russian government photo via AP Images).

The Myths and Realities of European Security in a Post-INF World

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019

On Feb. 2, the United States formally declared its intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty. The official declaration, which had been signaled by the Trump administration well in advance, set the clock ticking: Unless Russia unexpectedly returns to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty through the destruction of all its INF-violating missile systems, the U.S. withdrawal will become effective in early August. The formal termination of the treaty will have wide-ranging implications for European security, the U.S. military force posture in Europe, NATO deterrence and defense policy, and arms control.

For over 30 years, the INF treaty has been an enduring symbol of the Cold War’s denouement. When the Soviet Union and the U.S. signed the treaty in 1987, it effectively ended a buildup of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with short to intermediate ranges, defined as 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Since then, around 2,700 missiles, most of which would have been deployed on the European continent, have been eliminated, making the INF a foundational arms control agreement. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.