donald-trump-welcomes-in-the-age-of-usable-nuclear-weapons

05-11-18 09:02:00,

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It was only an announcement, but think of it as the beginning of a journey into hell. Last month, President Donald Trump made public his decision to abrogate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a 1987 agreement with the Soviet Union. National Security Advisor John Bolton, a Cold Warrior in a post-Cold War world, promptly flaunted that announcement on a trip to Vladimir Putin’s Moscow. To grasp the import of that decision, however, quite another kind of voyage is necessary, a trip down memory lane.

That 1987 pact between Moscow and Washington was no small thing in a world that, during the Cuban Missile Crisis only 25 years earlier, had reached the edge of nuclear Armageddon. The INF Treaty led to the elimination of thousands of nuclear weapons, but its significance went far beyond that. As a start, it closed the books on the nightmare of a Europe caught between the world-ending strategies of the two superpowers, since most of those “intermediate-range” missiles were targeting that very continent. No wonder, last week, a European Union spokesperson, responding to Trump, fervently defended the treaty as a permanent “pillar” of international order.

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To take that trip back three decades in time and remember how the INF came about should be an instant reminder of just how President Trump is playing havoc with something essential to human survival.

In October 1986 in Reykjavik, Iceland, the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union,

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