The return of the euromissiles

It was first of all a remark of Donald trump during the struggle for the presidential elections, which the military experts stood on end hair: why have nuclear weapons if you can’t use it? From the 20th of January, the American officer is for a new Supreme commander a suitcase with a secret code for the use of American nuclear weapons. This alone can deprive sleep. Now, however, there is the threat of this missile crisis and Vladimir Putin and Donald trump have to agree with each other. It seems that to watch it would be scary.


We are talking about the Treaty on the elimination of medium-range missiles (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces — INF), which Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed 8 December 1987 in Washington. The Treaty prohibits development, testing and production of land-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles (cruise missiles) with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.


For the first time as a result of this agreement were written off a whole generation of missiles with nuclear warheads, nearly three thousand rockets from the Russian side SS-20, with American Pershing II and cruise missiles, ground-based medium-range.


Hundreds of thousands of people came out in 80-ies on the streets of Germany to protest against the deployment of this strategic weapon. With the signing of this Treaty, the peace movement has achieved a significant goal. The agreement was an important milestone on the way to the overcoming of the cold war.


A new arms race in Europe?


Now, this historic success is at risk. Because Russia has become to place a new cruise land-based missile, which is banned under the Treaty on elimination of medium-range missiles. According to the newspaper the New York Times, meanwhile, posted two missile battalion. Each of them has four mobile launchers, each of which is half a dozen missiles with nuclear warheads. One of the two battalions posted near a missile test site Kapustin Yar in southern Russia, another is in an unknown location. Members of the administration trump confirmed the report of this newspaper.


Cruise missiles, which the Americans called the SSC-8 is incompatible with the Treaty on the elimination of medium-range missiles. In 2011, the Obama administration has fixed tests of new cruise missiles. Three years later she was sent to Moscow a delegation to the high level, to insist on the observance by Russia of the terms of the contract. However, Putin’s government has disputed any violation of this agreement. This, they say, rather the Americans who broke the Treaty with the creation of anti-missile systems in Romania and Poland.


Yet there is hope that it will be possible to avoid new arms race with nuclear weapons in Europe. Both sides, Russia and the West, are interested to not post again missiles with extremely low time alert, according to NATO. This Alliance will not allow, say, Putin “to achieve any strategic advantage in the placement of new cruise missiles, medium-range ground-based”.


However, timely warnings from Washington and Brussels did not deter Moscow from trying to develop missiles SSC-8. Perhaps Putin is ready for termination of the Treaty on the elimination of medium-range missiles, since he sees a threat to his country by the production of new medium-range missiles in China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran. How real is this danger? No, said one high-ranking representative of NATO: “Russia has with its long-range missiles and Intercontinental missiles this firepower, that it can effectively repel any threat from medium-range missiles, and for an unlimited time.”


The first senators demand responses


For the first time and Donald trump criticized last week criticized the violation of the Treaty on the elimination of medium-range missiles. He also described as “a bad deal” to conclude a new Treaty on the limitation of strategic arms. According to this agreement, signed in 2010, Moscow and Washington want to limit until February 2018 the number of warheads on Intercontinental missiles to 1,550 m on each side.

“A bad deal”? Quite the contrary, experts believe the new start Treaty exemplary. Still both sides are honestly adhered to it. Vladimir Putin even called the new start Treaty “gold standard” of international treaties. And now the Russian President himself exposes in breach of the agreement on the elimination of medium-range missiles.


Since the us Congress first senators are already demanding response. Republican Tom cotton (Tom Cotton) from Arkansas sees the messages on missiles SSC-8 the evidence that “the US should increase its nuclear forces in Europe.” It would start a new arms race.


Welcome back to 80-ies.