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Pacific Admiral bluntly calls out Russia for not complying with nuclear treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Nikolsky Alexei/TASS/Zuma Press/TNS)
November 10, 2017

When it comes to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between the United States and Russia, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) recently said that one of the two countries is not abiding by its terms – and it’s not the U.S.

The U.S. House Armed Services Committee also issued a statement about the agreement, and said that “the Russians have been allowed to violate the INF treaty with no identifiable response from the United States.”

PACOM Commander Adm. Harry Harris recently said: “There are only two countries that signed on to [it], and one of them doesn’t follow it. That becomes a unilateral limitation on us.”

INF (Twitter)

The INF was signed in 1987 by the U.S. and then-Soviet Union, now Russia. The treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

It eliminates all short- and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles and missile launchers.

The House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Mac Thornberry, recently released a statement about Russia’s INF violations.

“China has between 1,400 and 1,800 ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles that would be banned under the terms of the treaty, but they’re not signatories and don’t have to comply; right now, only the U.S. is complying,” the committee said.

The Department of Defense complies with the INF Treaty.

The House Armed Services Committee said:

Not passing the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] also further delays new authorities to better position the U.S. for future counter Russia preparation.

The House-passed NDAA authorizes $50 million for the development of active defense, counter force and countervailing military responses to the INF treaty, including authorized funding to begin a program of record on a new U.S. ground-launched cruise missile. For much of the previous Administration, the Russians have been allowed to violate the INF treaty with no identifiable response from the United States. The FY18 NDAA would change that. General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified in September that “The status quo, in which we are complying with the treaty and they are not, is untenable.”