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Trump says U.S. to exit nuclear treaty, Russia says dangerous move

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The INF Treaty got rid of an entire class of weapons like the American Ground Launched Cruise Missile and short-ranged (1,000km) Pershing missiles, as well as the Russian R-12, which was the subject of the Cuban Missile Crisis, SS-12s, which look exactly like Scuds, and the RSD-10, which caused a missile crisis in Europe in the late 70s. 


Now, I don't believe any of these will return. I don't believe that either the US or Russia will develop similar classes. 

What this means is that, like Wade says, Russia will be free to produce weapons of this class at will. As will the US. Here are two examples:


1. Russia currently has deployed a missile system called the Iskander-K. It is a mobile, ground launched cruise missile with a range of up to 5,000 km that violates the INF treaty. It could strike Europe within 10 minutes of launch. It is nuclear capable. The US has called Russia out on this before and now that Trump is in office, we have begun research into developing a response to this. That response would involve tactical (low-yield) nuclear-armed cruise missiles on our submarines. I don't have to tell you that tactical nuclear weapons are still nuclear weapons, and that their use will escalate a conflict into the nuclear realm. 


2. Remember the US missile shield in Europe back in 2008? It's online with two sites in Europe - Poland and Romania. It comprises a long range radar, and a stationary vertical launch missile platform called AEGIS Ashore. It is equipped as a ballistic missile interceptor site to defend against an attack from Iran. The problem, however, is that the system is basically taken straight from a naval destroyer. That involves the Mk 41 VLS. The Mk 41 carries the SM-3 interceptor used by AEGIS Ashore. BUT, as it is a universal VLS used by the Navy, it is also capable of loading  the Tomahawk missile. The Tomahawk missile is what the Ground Launched Cruise Missile system eliminated under the INF used. What this means is that the US could load cruise missiles into the AEGIS Ashore launchers and strike Russia with tactical nuclear weapons, again, within 10 minutes of launch. 



This is fucked. 

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I'm not informed on that debate, so what follows is just my conjecture.


I would say that practically, these weapons are worthless outside of a first strike. And neither country wants to strike first, because that would invite a strategic response. 


However, these weapons are a strong deterrent. They allow for fast strikes that are extremely hard to detect until it is well too late. Russia has a policy that allows for nuclear responses to non-nuclear attacks or imminent threats mainly because of their gaps in conventional capability. These weapons Russia has are survivable in ways that ICBMs are not. They are easily mobile and concealable. We know where their ICBMs are. We know where their bombers are. We know where their nuclear attack subs are (in port. Hahaha get fukt). We can't find a forward deployed Iskander once it hits a million acres of forest. We can't find a silent diesel sub in the eastern Mediterranean loaded with cruise missiles. 


The problem is this. The weapons' usefulness is in that they are not used. But their ease of use (tactical level strikes and smaller, less destructive yields) encourages their use. Especially with a defensive posture such that Russia has. 


It's bad enough that Russia is circumventing. Our withdrawal will give them justification to continue pursuit. And it will remove our ability to address concerns with these weapons' development and deployment.


We need a new comprehension arms treaty that covers these weapons, new capabilities, and that includes China as one of the parties.

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