30 October 2018
Expectations of a renewed nuclear arms race if the US abandons the INF Treaty are misplaced. The new arms race is already under way.
President Trump’s assertion that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia has set off a flurry of speculation about the potential consequences. Most commentators agree that this will likely set off another round of arms racing reminiscent of the Cold War. But this is superfluous reasoning. A fast-paced arms race is already under way with all the nuclear players involved in varying degrees.
Amidst the euphoria of the Cold War’s end, it seemed universal nuclear disarmament was a reachable target in the long term. President Barrack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his “vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons”. But optimism soon faded. The Nobel Committee had hoped the prize would strengthen his hands, but as its Secretary, Geir Lundestad, admitted later, “the committee didn’t achieve what it had hoped for”. Indeed, current American nuclear modernisation plans were initiated by the Obama administration and are expected to cost some US$1.3 trillion over the next three decades.
… Rajesh Basrur is Professor of International Relations at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 31/10/2018