When Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, confirmed that the United States intended to leave the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) treaty with the Soviet Union, the response ran the gamut from disappointment to panic. And while warnings of imminent Armageddon have dissipated, an early consensus seems to have settled around fears about the start of a highly dangerous new arms race. There are reasons, though, why even this may not be exactly what we are dealing with here. Weigh, first, the considerations that Trump’s advisers may have presented (in the event that their advice was solicited) about when and whether to announce his intention to dismantle what has been seen for three decades as a main pillar of European security. First, it is not news that Russia has been deploying missiles with a banned range at their test site for the best part of three years. Moscow has not even really bothered to deny it. But it was not something at the forefront of attention: the Americans were otherwise engaged, and the Europeans – whose security stood to be most immediately affected – typically preferred to raise the matter behind closed doors. Anyway, Nato has been building… Read full this story
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