Call on your elected representatives to fix and preserve the INF Treaty and extend New START.
Our differences with Russia over the INF Treaty today are significant, but Reagan and Gorbachev reached agreement in the 1980s when the divisions were at least as deep, and abandoning the INF Treaty “threatens our very existence” argues Gorbachev in an article he coauthored with former Secretary of State George Schultz.
Abandoning the INF treaty further risks a new arms race not only with Russia, but with China. The U.S. Administration has stated that its move to pull out of INF is driven in large part by a desire to build up intermediate range missiles in allied states in the Asia-Pacific to counter the perceived China threat. This would most certainly lead to an aggressive counter-reaction from China and could have a dramatic impact on global strategic stability. China sees a build-up in U.S. intermediate range missiles in the Asia-Pacific as a potential new threat to the survivability of its small nuclear arsenal of about 300 weapons. It will likely respond by building up its own strategic nuclear arsenal.
We need to listen to the wisdom of individuals such as William Perry, a man of unquestioned knowledge and integrity, who says “There is only one way to win an arms race. Refuse to run.”
Both parties to INF blame the other side for noncompliance. We need to engage in difficult diplomacy to fix and preserve it not only to prevent deadly new arms races. One of the great benefits of arms control treaties has been the greater ability to know what the other side is doing through information exchange and innovative observation and verification regimes. For the sake of own security, we need to preserve arms control treaties like INF and New START.