US Demolishing Entire Cold War-Era Arms Control Regime - Ex-Diplomat

US Demolishing Entire Cold War-Era Arms Control Regime - Ex-Diplomat

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 06th March, 2019) The entire arms control regime embodied in four treaties created during the Cold War will be destroyed within a few years and in all cases the initiative to smash it has come from the United States, former Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong told Sputnik.

On Monday, the Kremlin press service said that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending Russia's obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) until the United States resumed compliance. In early February, the United States formally suspended its commitments to the INF accord.

"The entire arms control regime inherited from the Cold War will be gone in a few years - in all cases the initiative has come from Washington although Moscow has, of course, has been blamed," Armstrong said on Tuesday.

The Cold War created four important arms treaties, Armstrong recalled, including the 1987 INF treaty, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) and in the 1990s the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

However, Washington abrogated the ABM Treaty in 2002, NATO never ratified the modified CFE Treaty and invented so many new conditions that Russia, which had ratified it, pulled out in 2015 and Washington has just pulled out of the INF Treaty, Armstrong pointed out.

"All that remains is the New START Treaty of 2011, and given that Trump has called it a 'bad deal.' we cannot expect that one to last either," he warned.

One could interpret US President Donald Trump's decision as the latest step in a exceptionalist or unipolar tendency in which Washington, confident that it could secure "full spectrum dominance," throws out all agreements which limit it, Armstrong explained.

On the other hand, the boast of outspending all other countries may be another example of Trump's negotiation style, Armstrong noted.

However, it remained to be seen how realistic Trump's strategy would prove to be, Armstrong cautioned.

"I don't see any particular incentive for Beijing to bother and Moscow, which had foreseen the future when the ABM Treaty was dropped, already has weapons that can counter any intermediate threat Washington can come up with," he said.

Such advanced weapons systems included Kaliber cruise missiles on land and Zircon hypersonic missiles in submarines off the US coastline, Armstrong advised.