The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty helped to end the Cold War, contributing greatly to the stability of Europe at a tense time, and setting the stage for the first negotiated reductions in strategic nuclear forces. But the treaty could not overcome the political hurdles, which arose in its third decade. As of August 2, 2019, the treaty will be in ashes - four months short of its 32nd anniversary. The INF Treaty deserves not only a decent burial, but also an organized effort to secure a follow-on agreement that would preserve some of the achievements of the treaty and widen limits on the most dangerous INF weapons likely to emerge in its wake. Given political pressures for a new escalation in the development and deployment of new INF missiles, it is urgent to begin a discussion on what kind of arms control regime could mitigate this threat.
About the Authors
Oliver Meier is Deputy Head of the Research Division on International Security at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). His areas of expertise include problems related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ways to control and reduce biological, chemical and nuclear weapons as well as to cooperatively control military and risk technologies.
Greg Thielmann is a Senior Fellow and a member of the Arms Control Association’s Board of Directors, and previously served as an office director in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, a professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as State Department advisor to the U.S. INF delegation.
Andrei Zagorski is Head of the Department of Disarmament and Conflict Resolution, Center for International Security at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences and Professor of International Relations, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University).