It is rather astounding the American double-think. It was the US side which unilaterally abolished the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty in 2002. And it is the US side which is now unilaterally threatening to walk away from a second landmark arms control treaty, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) accord, which was first put in place in 1987.
Yet it is Washington that is accusing Russia of violating the global arms control architecture.
Washington has been relentlessly encroaching on Russia’s national security over the past two decades with expansion of NATO forces on Russia’s borders, including the deployment of missiles systems. And yet Washington has the bare face to accuse Moscow of breaching arms controls.
How would the US feel, if say, Russia were to deploy missile systems in Mexico? Yet, the US is doing similar on Russia’s borders and then turning around and accusing Moscow of aggression. The American double-think here betrays a disturbing, stupid arrogance.
This week, US and Russian officials met in Geneva to discuss the INF and problems surrounding the treaty on both sides. But the US side in typical high-handed fashion refused to enter into detailed negotiations about alleged grievances contended by both sides. Washington spurned detailed talks and simply repeated its threats to unilaterally abrogate the INF.
It now seems certain that the US will withdraw from the INF over the next two months. The abrogation of the treaty, in place since 1987 as negotiated by former President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, could mean the return of US medium-range nuclear missiles to Europe targeting Russia.
It is a stupendous retrograde step. Moscow has already warned that if the US abandons the INF, then it will be compelled to respond by installing missiles that will target European allies of the US. This is a lamentable unwinding of arms control and undoing of global security.
But who is responsible? It is the US that is wholly responsible for this retrograde step. No doubt about it. The question has to be asked: which side has continually sought to undermine global security? Any objective observer can see that the US and its cancellation of the ABM in 2002 followed by relentless expansion of NATO offensive forces towards Russia is the malign motive force.