Contention over the I.N.F. missile control treaty is complicated by suspicions on both sides that the other has broken its rules.
BY Dr. Postol studies missile defense systems and has been recognized with awards for uncovering false claims about them. nytimes.com February 19, 2019
In Greek mythology, Pandora had a box she had been warned to never open. With no understanding of the consequences, and despite the warning, she opened the box, irreversibly releasing the plagues that would affect all of humanity forever. The American threat to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prohibits possession of missiles capable of striking targets at ranges from about 300 to 3,400 miles, will have similar consequences for humanity if it is also executed in spite of warnings and without considering the consequences.
One particularly difficult aspect of this situation is that the Russians and the Americans each accuse the other of flouting the treaty’s purpose in Europe by planning for, or deploying, nuclear-capable weaponry that could have a dual use — defensive on its face but potentially offensive after quick modification. It is fair to say that each side has given the other a reason to fear its ultimate intent and that Americans must take the Russian position seriously. Unless both sides back away from their threats, accusations and suppositions about the other side, both will be in peril if the treaty is abandoned.