Nuclear Treaty Abrogation Imperils Global Security

On October 20, Donald Trump told reporters of his intention for the United States to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because “Russia has violated the agreement.” Article VI of the US Constitution specifically includes treaties in describing the supreme law of the land, and the treaty includes a process for amendments and withdrawal. “Trump’s proposed abrogation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty reveals once again his dangerous lack of preparation for dealing with urgent strategic matters,” explains Louis René Beres, professor emeritus of international law at Purdue University. “Trump’s latest seat-of-the pants policy prescription does not concern only Russia, and could backfire catastrophically by encouraging nuclear proliferation in other parts of the world.” The Constitution does not effectively check the president’s ability to start nuclear war, either deliberately or accidentally. Beres urges the US National Command Authority, the US Congress and citizens to remind the president that terminating the treaty would exacerbate a nuclear arms race and the ability to prepare for all plausible scenarios. – YaleGlobal