Russia and US: new nuclear arms race about to be? - Politics | PoFo

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By the end of 2019, in the field of nuclear arms control, there was a situation when the Russian Federation and the United States of America are likely to enter the next decade without agreements on nuclear disarmament between them. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty ceased to exist on August 2, 2019. A negative role in the decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty was played by the contradiction regarding verification of the implementation of arms control agreements. Accompanying this agreement with a detailed verification and control system indicates a lack of trust between Russia and the United States. There is so far the only START Treaty of 2010, but it expires in February 2021, since the chances of its extension are slim. Thus, under these conditions, nothing will limit the United States from building up its nuclear potential, which could lead to a new nuclear arms race.
The tension is heightened by the fact that the United States wants to deploy new high-precision missiles, as well as hypersonic missiles with a ballistic warhead, which previously fell under the INF Treaty, by the beginning of the 2020s. This was stated by Acting Secretary of the U.S. Army Ryan McCarthy on September 4, 2019. It is likely that these missiles can be deployed in Estonia, and this is a direct security threat to Russia. This fact naturally doesn't go unnoticed by the international community.
The problem of the governance of the United States is that they combine offensive and defensive systems, nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, and traditional and "exotic" means of warfare. Thus, the US governance gets an idea that the use of conventional weapons is almost no different from the use of nuclear one. In turn, this may mean that, with proper planning, the transition of a normal conflict to a nuclear one becomes more real than with the directive establishment of a hard "nuclear threshold". Consequently, this leads to the practical impossibility of reaching any agreement between the United States and Russia in the field of nuclear arms control.
In the event that any international agreements that will restrain the arms race are completely absent, the United States will make (are already making) independent decisions on whether or not to react to the emergence of new weapon systems from the opposite side. And if we talk about the need for any reaction, then, apart from technical and financial constraints, nothing will prevent unilateral actions in the field of improving and building up own nuclear arsenal. Thus, the possibility of a new arms race between Russia and the United States is quite high. In this situation, one of the decisions that can help reduce the degree of tension in this area is seen as unilateral statements by the Russian Federation and the United States to continue to comply with the main provisions of the New START Treaty after its termination in case of refusal to extend it. The governance of the United States should be fully aware of the fact that the use of nuclear weapons first in an armed conflict is primarily a war crime, no matter what the objectives are pursued during making such a decision. This is a barbaric weapon that should never be used and which can only be a constraining instrument, not a means of warfare.
Thus, in spite of the termination of the INF Treaty, the United States should understand that the desire to deploy missiles with nuclear warheads can lead to a serious escalation of tension in the international arena, namely, a sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and the United States, which ultimately, it may entail various scenarios up to armed conflict. That is why nuclear weapons should not be in line with other types of weapons, and priority should be given to international security, stability and the resumption of dialogue on the INF Treaty.

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