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The INF Treaty is history


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#1 George Rowell

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 11:31 AM

Trump has pulled out of the INF treaty. I hear what he says but I confess the logic fails me. Have the Russians been called out for cheating or is it really a great power game? Is China the reason? Others say Putin told him to do it. Anybody know what is going on?
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#2 golden_valley

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 12:22 PM

Putin pulled out too. I don't know why Trump did it and I've seen no speculation on that so far. I have a guess...of course Putin told Trump to do it and Trump agreed. There is money to be made. So it's off the (arms) races selling to whomever has the cash to buy.

Quote

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in a decision that was widely expected, suspended his country’s observance of a key nuclear arms control pact on Saturday in response to a similar move by the United States a day before.
But adding to a sense that the broader architecture of nuclear disarmament has started to unravel, Mr. Putin also said that Russia would build weapons previously banned under the treaty and would no longer initiate talks with the United States on any matters related to nuclear arms control.

ETA I take that back. Larison at TAC notes that John Bolton has wanted to end this treaty for years now, but I'm not sure Trump takes Bolton's word for everything. Bolton didn't want to leave Syria.

#3 Traveler

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 01:35 PM

As I said before, they have been violating for years. Apparently since 2005. Neither Bush nor Obama did anything. Frankly, if ever was the time to pull out, that was the time to do so. The only reason to stay in was to stake the moral high ground. Like that matters.

Now the US can deploy them as well, and that is not going make either Russia or China happy (China was exempt). And realize that the treaty only banned ground based. No prohibitions against naval missiles. Pretty easy to adapt naval platforms to dry land, and the US/EU would be good to go. Poland would love to have them. I don't think Russia thought this through.

But it is a major destabilizing development. Entirely Russia's fault.
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#4 George Rowell

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 12:41 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 03 February 2019 - 12:22 PM, said:

Putin pulled out too. I don't know why Trump did it and I've seen no speculation on that so far. I have a guess...of course Putin told Trump to do it and Trump agreed. There is money to be made. So it's off the (arms) races selling to whomever has the cash to buy.



ETA I take that back. Larison at TAC notes that John Bolton has wanted to end this treaty for years now, but I'm not sure Trump takes Bolton's word for everything. Bolton didn't want to leave Syria.
That is good. I do not want to put words into your mouth but I assume you accept that the Russians have been in clear violation of the treaty for nearly a decade and America is rightly and morally justified in pulling out at any time. Your argument for pulling out now (could possibly be, but you are not certain) is there is money to be made and it is possible Putin told dumpster to do it.

US Arm sales will certainly take off if the EU allows intermediate range missiles in it's territory.

Do you think the end of the INF gives Russia or America any strategic advantage and if so what?
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#5 George Rowell

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 12:49 AM

View PostTraveler, on 03 February 2019 - 01:35 PM, said:

As I said before, they have been violating for years. Apparently since 2005. Neither Bush nor Obama did anything. Frankly, if ever was the time to pull out, that was the time to do so. The only reason to stay in was to stake the moral high ground. Like that matters. Now the US can deploy them as well, and that is not going make either Russia or China happy (China was exempt). And realize that the treaty only banned ground based. No prohibitions against naval missiles. Pretty easy to adapt naval platforms to dry land, and the US/EU would be good to go. Poland would love to have them. I don't think Russia thought this through. But it is a major destabilizing development. Entirely Russia's fault.

Golden Valley made the valid point that there is money to be made in selling arms. Arm sales will take off if the EU allow these new weapons into their territory.

Taking your view, why pull out now? Do you think intermediate range weapons will give America or Russia a strategic advantage? Do you think Putin may have told Trump to pull out?
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#6 HockeyDon

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 09:12 AM

The treaty covered intermediate-range land-based missiles. Think about that for a minute. How many targets does the US have within the definition of "intermediate" (a little less than 3500 miles)? A bare handful within range of Alaska. All of the United States' intermediate-range missiles are ship-fired or aircraft-fired. The treaty didn't cover ship-fired or aircraft-fired missiles. Russia simply doesn't have the infrastructure (read: budget) we do for ship-fired and the USA dominates air power.

When this treaty was signed, the USSR gave up everything and USA gave up nearly nothing. That's why Putin had been violating it for somewhere in the range of 6-7 years. He knew that by violating it, at some point the treaty would come under scrutiny by some idiot that doesn't understand the situation and the treaty would perhaps be abandoned.

Putin just won this one. Even if it's true that Bolton has wanted to scrap it for years and this is all his doing, and even if it's untrue that Putin commanded Trump to pull out of the treaty, Putin won this handily.

When this treaty was still in effect, Putin had to at least hide what he was doing, which made it much more expensive and difficult. Now it will all be out in the open.
When this treaty was still in effect, there were punishment mechanisms written into the language of the treaty. Now, there is no treaty to violate, and no way to exert pressure to stop them from ramping up intermediate-range production.

We also lose by showing the world, once again, that under Trump we simply will not honor any agreements or treaties. So, Putin wins on this front as well, by undermining world stability further.

I said it in the Russia thread and I'll say it again; Russia is a rogue state. They happen to be run by a mastermind in international politics and power-plays, but that doesn't change the fact that they are operating as a rogue state. Putin's playbook is the KGB playbook. His only desire seems to be to bring the USSR back into existence during it's heyday, when it was the other superpower on the planet.
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

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#7 George Rowell

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 10:54 AM

View PostHockeyDon, on 04 February 2019 - 09:12 AM, said:

The treaty covered intermediate-range land-based missiles. Think about that for a minute. How many targets does the US have within the definition of "intermediate" (a little less than 3500 miles)? A bare handful within range of Alaska. All of the United States' intermediate-range missiles are ship-fired or aircraft-fired. The treaty didn't cover ship-fired or aircraft-fired missiles. Russia simply doesn't have the infrastructure (read: budget) we do for ship-fired and the USA dominates air power.

When this treaty was signed, the USSR gave up everything and USA gave up nearly nothing. That's why Putin had been violating it for somewhere in the range of 6-7 years. He knew that by violating it, at some point the treaty would come under scrutiny by some idiot that doesn't understand the situation and the treaty would perhaps be abandoned.

Putin just won this one. Even if it's true that Bolton has wanted to scrap it for years and this is all his doing, and even if it's untrue that Putin commanded Trump to pull out of the treaty, Putin won this handily.

When this treaty was still in effect, Putin had to at least hide what he was doing, which made it much more expensive and difficult. Now it will all be out in the open.
When this treaty was still in effect, there were punishment mechanisms written into the language of the treaty. Now, there is no treaty to violate, and no way to exert pressure to stop them from ramping up intermediate-range production.

We also lose by showing the world, once again, that under Trump we simply will not honor any agreements or treaties. So, Putin wins on this front as well, by undermining world stability further.

I said it in the Russia thread and I'll say it again; Russia is a rogue state. They happen to be run by a mastermind in international politics and power-plays, but that doesn't change the fact that they are operating as a rogue state. Putin's playbook is the KGB playbook. His only desire seems to be to bring the USSR back into existence during it's heyday, when it was the other superpower on the planet.
That is a clearly defined opinion that takes historical perspective into account nicely. May I summarize it by saying Russia is a rogue state that wanted to get out of the INF because it did not suit them and has tried to make the World believe that the US is the villain and Trump has obliged, or Russia has simply pushed the issue until the US had to respond.

So Russia stands to gain from leaving the INF. America's hand may have been forced or Trump may have miscalculated but do you think the US will get any benefit from leaving the INF?
Do you think Russia wants these missiles against China or Europe or both?
Perhaps Putin also wants to sell intermediate range missiles?

There is another option which I do not think very likely but let us air it : Trump is bluffing and really wants Russia to destroy the missiles in contention. Russia has called that bluff. Nah, cannot see that.
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#8 HockeyDon

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 12:38 PM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 04 February 2019 - 10:54 AM, said:

That is a clearly defined opinion that takes historical perspective into account nicely. May I summarize it by saying Russia is a rogue state that wanted to get out of the INF because it did not suit them and has tried to make the World believe that the US is the villain and Trump has obliged, or Russia has simply pushed the issue until the US had to respond.

So Russia stands to gain from leaving the INF. America's hand may have been forced or Trump may have miscalculated but do you think the US will get any benefit from leaving the INF?
Do you think Russia wants these missiles against China or Europe or both?
Perhaps Putin also wants to sell intermediate range missiles?

There is another option which I do not think very likely but let us air it : Trump is bluffing and really wants Russia to destroy the missiles in contention. Russia has called that bluff. Nah, cannot see that.

The US gets virtually nothing for giving up the INF. Russia/Putin wants to destabilize Europe, not China. He wants to break apart the EU and NATO, thus his efforts in Britain plus the constant instructions to his hairpiece-mouthpiece to constantly be shit-talking NATO.

Putin knows the only way Russia gains ground in the international scene is by tearing down any and every country that has it better than Russia. Even a country that is marginally better off than Russia is a target.
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

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#9 golden_valley

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 12:55 PM

I don't think Trump calculates much of anything. Trump likes to smash things. Putin may have dangled some idea that the US will make great money selling this particular set of arms and that's attractive to Trump, along with the smashing. Remember he brags about the arms deal with Saudi Arabia (that he didn't negotiate). Or there may be some sort of blackmail to get Trump to pull out so Putin can be justified in doing the same...who knows with those two?

#10 George Rowell

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 04:53 PM

View PostHockeyDon, on 04 February 2019 - 12:38 PM, said:

The US gets virtually nothing for giving up the INF. Russia/Putin wants to destabilize Europe, not China. He wants to break apart the EU and NATO, thus his efforts in Britain plus the constant instructions to his hairpiece-mouthpiece to constantly be shit-talking NATO.

Putin knows the only way Russia gains ground in the international scene is by tearing down any and every country that has it better than Russia. Even a country that is marginally better off than Russia is a target.
I think I am getting the picture of what TRS thinks about Putin and by extension educated and informed America at large. Suspicion and distrust for Putin run as deep as the grand canyon. Talking specifically about the INF treaty you seem to be saying that Putin has engineered the American pullout to destabilize Europe and Nato while the US gains little or nothing : and Trump has aided him, possibly through ignorance or naivety.

Incidentally I am not at the moment proffering an opinion on Putin's motives but your take on the circumstances and evolution of the INF seem factually very sound and is the view of experts, a word I am cautious to use here, so lets say mainstream political and military correspondents.

I would welcome the views of other TRS contributors on the reasons the US has quit the INF Treaty, because your take is indicative of smart America, and at the same time modern day Russia, Putin's Russia interests me. Putin is not going away and these frictions are going to get a lot worse - that is an opinion.
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#11 AnBr

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 08:16 PM

The motives of Putin are pretty obvious. I am not sure you can ascribe any motives to anyone here outside of tRump.
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#12 George Rowell

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 06:24 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 04 February 2019 - 12:55 PM, said:

Or there may be some sort of blackmail to get Trump to pull out so Putin can be justified in doing the same...who knows with those two?
There is also truth in the old adage that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. In this case China is in America's cross hairs more so than Russia. China has built up an arsenal of medium range weapons. Now Russia can too. It is not inconceivable that previous administrations came to a similar conclusion. Trump and Putin could both be relieved to see the end of the INF treaty. Maybe this is the real collusion.

Nobody has mentioned it but I sense a three kingdoms scenario here.
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#13 HockeyDon

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 11:56 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 05 February 2019 - 06:24 AM, said:

Trump and Putin could both be relieved to see the end of the INF treaty.

Oh, I don't doubt that! Putin because that was one of his goals, Trump because now he doesn't have to listen to Putin griping that Trump hasn't followed orders yet on this topic.
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

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#14 George Rowell

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:22 AM

View PostHockeyDon, on 05 February 2019 - 11:56 AM, said:

Oh, I don't doubt that! Putin because that was one of his goals, Trump because now he doesn't have to listen to Putin griping that Trump hasn't followed orders yet on this topic.
The other view is if highly mobile medium range nuclear missiles are deployed in Europe, it is very destabilizing for Russia, because they are difficult to locate and can make rapid strikes. On the other hand Russia has to use intercontinental ballistic missiles to strike America and these generally have fixed bases, possibly requiring time consuming liquid fueling and can be taken out by a rapid strike coming from Nato countries on or near Russia's border. The warning time will be minimal for hypersonic weapons. It is certainly not in Russia's interest to have hypersonic intermediate range missiles deployed in Europe. To stop this Russia will have to threaten to target European capitals of countries that allow these weapons in their territories. They may not say it now but you can expect it as a policy statement at some future time.

If Nato really does put such missiles in Europe then, simply put, I will be glad I live in Australia.
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#15 golden_valley

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:36 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 06 February 2019 - 12:22 AM, said:

The other view is if highly mobile medium range nuclear missiles are deployed in Europe, it is very destabilizing for Russia, because they are difficult to locate and can make rapid strikes. On the other hand Russia has to use intercontinental ballistic missiles to strike America and these generally have fixed bases, possibly requiring time consuming liquid fueling and can be taken out by a rapid strike coming from Nato countries on or near Russia's border. The warning time will be minimal for hypersonic weapons. It is certainly not in Russia's interest to have hypersonic intermediate range missiles deployed in Europe. To stop this Russia will have to threaten to target European capitals of countries that allow these weapons in their territories. They may not say it now but you can expect it as a policy statement at some future time.

If Nato really does put such missiles in Europe then, simply put, I will be glad I live in Australia.

Russia can use the missiles to target European capitals. Isn't that one of the reasons why Russia withdrew from the treaty? A weaker NATO plus Russian deployment of weapons to target Berlin and London seems like a situation that is desirable to Putin.

#16 Traveler

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:55 AM

AFAIK, there are more than enough missiles and warheads already to do that.
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#17 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:05 PM

View PostTraveler, on 06 February 2019 - 11:55 AM, said:

AFAIK, there are more than enough missiles and warheads already to do that.
This. You can use ICBMs at less than their full range.
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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:18 PM

View PostBeelzebuddy, on 06 February 2019 - 12:05 PM, said:

This. You can use ICBMs at less than their full range.
And the French and Brits have a pretty decent deterrent themselves.
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#19 andydp

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:34 PM

View PostTraveler, on 06 February 2019 - 12:18 PM, said:

And the French and Brits have a pretty decent deterrent themselves.

The French nuclear policy is quite simple:

If a nuke hits France they nuke Moscow. Very little room for doubt.
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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:35 PM

I don't see any of this as actual war strategy. Putin wants to ratchet up tensions with Europe (and others), have Russian state TV tell the Russian people how awful those other people are, and then Putin gets to go on camera, thump his chest, and tell them how wonderful he is for fighting for them despite the fact that their economy is shit and and they have shorter lifespans than the nations they're bitching about. It's all about internal politics. Putin gets defined by how he stands up to his "enemies" (even if they are of his own making), not what he does for the people of his own country.

Sound familiar? Maybe a certain orange strongman wannabe a bit closer to home?
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