The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 26th October 2018

Trump Tears Up Nuclear Treaty!

by our European Affairs correspondent

Donald Trump tore up a key Cold War nuclear arms treaty last weekend in a move that could plunge the USA into a new confrontation with Russia. The chief American war-lord claimed that Russia had already broken the agreement that prohibits the USA and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched cruise missiles with a range of 300—3,400 miles. The Kremlin has refuted Trump’s claims and stressed that Russia would be forced to take counter-measures to ensure its security.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the treaty with the Americans in 1987, said: “All agreements aimed at nuclear disarmament and limiting nuclear weapons must be preserved, for the sake of preserving life on earth,” and described Trump’s decision as “not the work of a great mind”.

The most aggressive and reactionary sections of the American ruling class have long been calling for the scrapping of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that led to the elimination of nearly 2,700 ballistic and cruise missiles.

In 2014, President Obama openly accused Russia of breaching the agreement after it allegedly tested a ground-launched cruise missile. But this wasn’t taken further after warnings from European leaders that this would trigger a new arms race.

Donald Trump once campaigned for rapprochement with Russia. Now a prisoner of the war-lobby in Washington, he’s following their agenda to the extent of adding China to his list of reasons for pulling out of the agreement. The reason, according to the New York Times, is that the Americans want to counter China’s expanding military presence in the western Pacific. China was not a signatory of the deal and can develop medium-range missiles without restraint.

Trump’s comments, which implied that China should accept the INF terms that the Americans are now rejecting, were dismissed as “blackmail” by the Chinese Foreign Ministry this week. China said that the INF treaty was important for “maintaining global strategic balance and stability”, warning that: “Withdrawing unilaterally from the treaty will have a multilateral impact.” But Washington should act with prudence in pressing for its demand that China should join the INF Treaty.

Some of America’s allies expressed shock at the announcement and said that they were not consulted. Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria all voiced concerns over Washington’s plans — but the May Government continues to lick Trump’s boots.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said that Britain stood “absolutely resolute” with Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear weapons pact with Russia, claiming that the Kremlin was “making a mockery” of the INF Treaty.

“Our close and long-term ally of course is the United States and we will be absolutely resolute with the United States in hammering home a clear message that Russia needs to respect the treaty obligation that it signed,” Williamson said. “We of course want to see this treaty continue to stand but it does require two parties to be committed to it and at the moment you have one party that is ignoring it.” In Moscow, Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev said that Washington was ready to drop a landmark missile treaty with Moscow because it wants to become the dominant power on the globe and that move will put its European allies in a tough spot. The Americans are “seeking unilateral military advantage”, Kosachev said, because “they want to be the only power in the world. And for that they don’t need these types of agreements”.

The senator, who is a supporter of Vladimir Putin, chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian parliament. The return of US Cruise missiles to Europe would pose a “substantial threat” to Russian security Kosachev said. Such a move will turn the whole of Europe into a “zone of highest possible risk” and will prompt a swift response from Moscow.