Trump’s Withdrawal From the Open Skies Treaty Is Reckless and Self-Defeating

A Russian Air Force Tu-214 flies over Offutt Air Force Base, a flight allowed under the Open Skies Treaty, in Omaha, Neb., April 26, 2019 (photo by Chris Machian for the Omaha World-Herald via AP).
A Russian Air Force Tu-214 flies over Offutt Air Force Base, a flight allowed under the Open Skies Treaty, in Omaha, Neb., April 26, 2019 (photo by Chris Machian for the Omaha World-Herald via AP).

President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, which has helped keep the post-Cold War peace, raises the long-term risk of armed conflict in Europe. While unfortunate, abandoning this 34-nation confidence-building measure is consistent with Trump’s years-long policy of confidence-demolition. First proposed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1955 and negotiated under the George H.W. Bush administration, Open Skies allows signatories, including the United States and Russia, to fly unarmed observation aircraft over one another’s territory. This helps build a measure of transparency and trust regarding each countries’ military forces and activities, thereby enhancing stability and […]

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