Congress Takes Aim at INF Treaty

A POLITICAL CARTOON published in RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES (RBTH) JUNe 2015 https://www.rbth.com/opinion/2015/06/16/why_the_collapse_of_the_inf_treaty_is_not_in_russias_interests_46941.html

A POLITICAL CARTOON published in RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES (RBTH) JUNe 2015 https://www.rbth.com/opinion/2015/06/16/why_the_collapse_of_the_inf_treaty_is_not_in_russias_interests_46941.html

As in the early 1980s, the deployment of intermediate range land based nuclear weapons on the Continent will lead to mass demonstrations. In the current geopolitical climate, it can be expected to outrage millions of Europeans already aggravated by Washington's extraterritorial and illegal under international law sanctions against EU trade with Russia, driving a wedge between 'Old Europe' NATO members like Italy, France or Germany where such deployments would be wildly unpopular and 'New Europe' members of the former Warsaw Treaty countries, whose governments may face less opposition to accepting offensive as well as the currently planned 'defensive' missile bases. The fact that the vertical launch systems taken from AEGIS ships deployed on the territory of Poland and Romania could easily be fitted with nuclear capable Tomahawk missiles is one of Moscow's complaints against Washington, and has led Vladimir Putin to warn that these nations are now 'in the cross hairs' of potential Russian nuclear strikes.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN AND SOVIET PREMIER MIKHAIL GORBACHEV SIGNING THE INF TREATY DECEMBER 1987

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN AND SOVIET PREMIER MIKHAIL GORBACHEV SIGNING THE INF TREATY DECEMBER 1987

Last but not least, tearing up the treaty would push Russia even closer to China, possibly leading to Moscow purchasing DF21D hypersonic carrier killing ballistic missiles from Beijing. These unique Mach 11 capable weapons designed to evade the latest U.S. Navy and THAAD air defenses would be capable of launching from northwestern Russia's Kola Peninsula against U.S. warships across the Arctic Ocean and the northeastern Atlantic. If fired from southern Russia, they could sink NATO vessels in the Black and Mediterranean Sea basins within minutes. Moscow already has a growing arsenal of subsonic, supersonic and soon to be hypersonic sea and air launched missiles, making U.S. surface ships sailing in the narrow confines of the Baltic or Black Seas suicidal in the event of war with Russia.

The worse case scenario of total treaty abrogation and arms race could also lead to new intermediate range rockets being deployed by Moscow beyond Europe, in the Russian Far East. This would place U.S. military bases and nearby cities in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast even closer to hair trigger alerts and annihilation.

The following text from Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) is reproduced here courtesy of RogueMoney's friend and frequent guest Harley Schlanger. -- JWS

LAROUCHEPAC ACTIVISTS DEMONSTRATING FOR PEACE WITH RUSSIA AND US JOINING THE ONE BELT ONE ROAD (SOURCE: LAROUCHEPAC.COM)

LAROUCHEPAC ACTIVISTS DEMONSTRATING FOR PEACE WITH RUSSIA AND US JOINING THE ONE BELT ONE ROAD (SOURCE: LAROUCHEPAC.COM)

Aug. 3, 2017 (EIRNS)—The next phase of the treasonous Congressional attack on U.S.-Russia relations will be the INF Treaty, based on the so far unproven claim that Russia is in violation of the treaty by testing and deploying a ground-launched cruise missile that falls within the prohibited range of 500 to 5,000 kilometers.

The fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill, which has passed the House and is under consideration in the Senate, directs the Defense Department to initiate development of a land-based cruise missile that violates the treaty. It would require the president to make a determination whether or not Russia has engaged in non-compliant activities, and if such determination is made, it would provide that the U.S. is no longer bound by the limitations of the treaty. The White House already blasted that provision in the House bill in a July 12 statement because it "unhelpfully ties the Administration to a specific missile system, which would limit potential military response options," and it:

"would also raise concerns among NATO allies and could deprive the Administration of the flexibility to make judgments about the timing and nature of invoking our legal remedies under the treaty."

The administration isn’t the only source of concern about the INF treaty provisions, however.

"Now, as then, short and medium range nuclear missiles have no deterrent value, while making it more likely for miscalculations to lead to the unthinkable,"

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who voted for ratification of the treaty in 1988, told Politico in a statement. Other experts consulted by Politico pointed to its obvious unconstitutionality. "It exceeds the power of Congress," said Mallory Stewart, who served as deputy assistant secretary of State in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance until earlier this year. "It is ignoring a division of power that has been recognized since the beginning of our Constitution."

Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, otherwise a hawk on the question of Russian violations, questioned the military utility of such weapons during Congressional testimony in July. "Given the location of the specific missile and the deployment, they don’t gain any advantage in Europe," Selva said.

As for the lack of such a weapon in the U.S. arsenal, Selva argued that the U.S. military can hold at risk any targets it needs to with air- and ship-launched cruise missiles, which are not covered by the INF Treaty.

The following 35 minute video produced by LaRouchePAC is four years old and stars President Obama, but is more than applicable to the present accelerated risk of accidental nuclear war. -- JWS