Speaking at a NATO event in Washington on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence claimed that President Trump had “no choice” but to withdraw the US from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and it is all Russia’s fault.
Pence cited claims that the US has repeatedly made of a Russian violation, and the US continues to maintain that they don’t intend to violate the INF themselves, even once it is scrapped. The Pentagon would appear to disagree, as they’re already making parts for missiles to violate the INF.
Taking Pence at his word, however, the argument that Russia’s tests “pose a risk” to NATO members makes no sense, and moreover, withdrawing from the INF doesn’t prohibit further Russian tests, but rather encourages it.
If the US wanted Russia to stop testing missiles which are arguably in violation of the INF, pursuing them within the treaty would make a lot more sense than getting rid of the treaty itself, which gives Russia a justification to go further with such developments just to counter the presumptive US missiles the Pentagon wants.
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