Trump proposes new missile treaty with potential to include India

Top US diplomat Mike Pompeo may ne upgrading the US nuclear arsenal

At present when the world is debating if the world can ever be free of arms, in general, and nuclear weapons, in particular, the USA disregard for arms control will allow other nations to update their nuclear arsenal causing perpetual security dilemma.

On Tuesday, defence minister Sergei Shoigu issued a deadline to top brass to create a long-range, land-based hypersonic missile as well as modify the air-and-sea-based Kalibr cruise missile, which he said had "recommended itself well in Syria". The ban eliminated this entire class of missiles and went down as one of the most successful acts of arms control ever. At the end of last week, the Trump administration announced it would withdraw from the decades-old pact, accusing Moscow of violating its terms. Russian Federation then did the same. By choosing not to prepare now for the treaty's extension when it expires in 2021, Trump is planting the seeds for an unconstrained surge in the nuclear arms race.

The INF agreement was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The United States last week started the process of exiting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, saying that Russian Federation has been violating the pact through a new missile system and ignored repeated complaints.

In light of Washington's threats, we will be forced, of course, to take the necessary measures to guarantee our national security, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted in an official communiqué.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu explained that making the new weapon will be a "retaliatory measure" against the U.S., which he said has already been developing its own short and mid-range missiles, "in real breach" of the INF Treaty.

Meanwhile, a new survey conducted by the University of Maryland showed that two-thirds of American voters, including 55 percent of Republicans, object to the USA withdrawing from the nuclear pact.

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The Trump administration has expressed concern at the threat posed by Russian Federation as well as countries outside the INF, in particular China. The INF specifically limited land-based missiles, a condition that Russian Federation has claimed was advantageous to the United States.

The 32-year-old treaty required parties to destroy ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 km (310 to 3,420 miles).

The US is hopeful that it can put our relationship with Russian Federation back on better footing, but the onus is on Russian Federation to change course from a pattern of destabilising activity, not just on this issue but on many others as well, Pompeo said. At the time, in the late stages of the Cold War, the USA and its allies were mainly concerned by the perceived threat of Russian medium-range nuclear missiles that were targeted at Europe.

According to the diplomat, the mirror response is not the most effective in this regard, because it works for the American strategy. However, in talks this week in Beijing, the USA and Russia reported no breakthrough in their dispute, leaving little reason to think either side would change its stance on whether a Russian cruise missile violates the pact.

It comes amid spiralling tensions between Russian Federation and the US.

Mr. Trump said last week after the INF pullout was announced that he hoped to "get everybody in a big, handsome room and do a new treaty that would be much better".

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