Tell the government to save the INF
President Trump has announced that he intends to withdraw the US from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty with Russia on February 2nd unless he perceives that Russia has come into full compliance with the treaty. The INF is a vital nuclear treaty which has ensured the destruction of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles and has played a crucial role in ensuring that US missiles are not situated in Europe.
This withdrawal from the INF treaty is part of a wider pattern of the US disengaging from essential international nuclear treaties. Earlier this year, the US withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, removing its support for a treaty which successfully prevented the development of nuclear weapons in Iran.
Furthermore, the US’s withdrawal from the INF treaty also calls into question whether the US will work with Russia to renew the New START treaty in 2021, when it is due to expire. The New START treaty, signed in 2010, limits the number of nuclear warheads of both Russia and the US to no more than 700.
This treaty is therefore crucial for preventing a global arms race and ensuring nuclear de-escalation. However, given the US’s current intentions to reject INF, it is now uncertain whether the US will continue to limit its nuclear weapons holdings through an engagement in the process of renewing New START.
One thing is clear, we need to ensure that the UK government ends the special nuclear relationship with the US, sending a clear message of support for the international nuclear treaties that Trump has walked away from.
After our initial campaign we received this inadequate response from the Foreign Office. We must continue to pressure the Foreign Secretary, to call on the government to save these crucial nuclear treaties.