Far-left politicians and their mainstream media mouthpieces continue to fuel global outrage over US President Donald Trump’s decision to can the US–Russian 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Trump’s move, they’d have us believe, is reckless. It could set off a new global arms race. And the world will be closer to annihilation.
Awkwardly, the same politicians and media outlets are the ones who slammed Trump for cosying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin at their historic summit in the Finnish capital in July.
Former Republican Senator John McCain (now deceased) said Trump put on ‘one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory… No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.’
Trump and Putin to meet next month
Now Trump’s opponents will have something else to fret about. Trump and Putin plan to meet in Paris next month.
As RAW reports, both men will be in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War. Their advisors have said the two leaders plan to meet on the sidelines.
We expect the INF treaty will be one of many important security topics the two leaders discuss.
As a quick recap, the treaty prohibited the US and Russia from developing or holding intermediate range (500–5,500 kilometres) ground launched cruise missiles.
That sounds fine on paper. Except the Russians are cheating and the Chinese aren’t even signatories.
Trump isn’t looking to rekindle an arms race. His preference rather, as he stated over the weekend, ‘Let’s really get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons.’
What to expect?
The Chinese, yet again, appear wholly caught off guard by Trump’s latest move. But with their ‘miracle economy’ spluttering, the Communist Party will face mounting pressure to give ground on trade and defence issues.
The Russians, I suspect, were briefed beforehand. Though likely only at the highest levels.
Playing to the crowd, Russian officials responded forcefully in media statements, saying they would need to take action ‘to restore balance in this sphere’.
But the Russians don’t have the appetite, or the defence budget, to engage in a new arms race with the US. And Putin and Trump have made it clear they’d prefer to be friends over foes.
According to the Associated Press, Moscow is already signalling its willingness to give some ground, ‘with a senior official telling Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton that Russia is ready to address US concerns about how the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is being implemented.’
We expect new rounds of negotiations will open the door to much warmer relations between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.
And Russia’s sanction-battered economy could be among the biggest winners.
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