March 19, 2019

United States planning to test long-banned missiles

16 March 2019, 11:38 | Devin Moran

David B. Gleason

David B. Gleason

The testing, production and deployment of missiles with those ranges is prohibited by the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or the INF Treaty.

The INF treaty prohibits ground-launched missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,000 kilometers. He spoke about Russia's 9M729 cruise missile, which American officials claim violates the treaty limitations.

Intermediate-range weapons are regarded as particularly destabilizing because of the short time they take to reach a target.

Washington in the last month announced it will withdraw from the treaty in six months, unless Moscow ends its alleged violations.

"The Russians have been violating the INF Treaty for years but, instead of focusing world opinion against the Russians, the Trump administration chose to withdraw from the treaty", Adam Smith, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said recently.

"We're going to test a ground-launched cruise missile in August", senior defense official told Reuters today. The two countries signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, which eventually reduced the number of strategic nuclear weapons in existence by about 80%. The U.S. military could keep it in its arsenal at home for possible deployment if a situation warranted. Then some story was created that we allegedly have a type of missile that goes beyond the INF Treaty. The official also stated that the U.S. is also looking to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile in November and that both the missiles would not be nuclear, but conventional. If Russia and the US were to reach a deal to rescue the INF treaty before August, these projects would not go forward.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is militarily ready for a cold war crisis and threatened to place hypersonic nuclear missiles on ships or submarines near the U.S. territorial waters. Putin signed a decree suspending Moscow's compliance with the Treaty on March 4.

The defense officials said USA allies in Europe and Asia have not yet been consulted about deploying either new missile on their territory.

Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration urged Russian Federation to come back into compliance with the INF Treaty and end the production and deployment of its banned intermediate-range missile.

"It is the U.S. and - not Russian Federation - that violated the provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty".

Arms control advocates and Democrats in Congress have questioned the wisdom of leaving the INF treaty, while accepting US allegations that Russian Federation is violating it by deploying a cruise missile that can target American allies in Europe.

The senior defense official said the Pentagon would stand down with the tests if Russian Federation were to come back into compliance and the treaty survived.

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