The American Arms Control Association (ACA) called on the US Congress to block funding for US weapons systems that could trigger a new round of missile racing. As noted in the organization’s report with which RT got acquainted, the deployment of medium-range missiles after the collapse of the INF Treaty will cost Washington billions of dollars and take years.
Moreover, the development of new systems is militarily impractical to protect Washington’s allies in the Asian region, since existing systems are already capable of holding back Russia and China, experts say.
“It will take years and billions of dollars to deploy new American medium-range missiles. In addition, from the point of view of protecting NATO countries or US allies in Asia, there is no military need for them, given that the existing air and sea-based weapon systems are already capable of threatening key targets in Russia and China, ”the report says.
ACA experts are also confident that the deployment of medium-range missiles will also trigger countermeasures from Moscow and Beijing, most likely provoking a new arms race.
“Any US actions to deploy these weapons are very likely to provoke retaliatory steps on the part of Russia and China and vice versa. The result could be a dangerous and costly new arms race between the US and Russia, as well as between the US and China, ”the document says.
Analysts recalled that for fiscal year 2019, Congress approved a $ 48 million Pentagon request for research and development of ground-based medium-range missile systems. And for the 2020 fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Defense has already requested almost $ 100 million to develop three new missile systems that would violate the range limits of the 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate and Shorter Missiles.
This is not the first time that the organization has criticized the actions of the American authorities in the field of armaments. Earlier, ACA analysts called the policy of the US Presidential Administration Donald trump on the issue of spending on the nuclear arsenal “inappropriate, unstable and unsafe. They also suggested revising the budgetary allocation for nuclear weapons, but this did not affect Washington’s current course.
For example, experts from the Arms Control Association note that with the advent of the US President’s National Security Advisor to the White House, John Bolton also threatened the extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Agreement (START III), which expires in February 2021, which remains the latest existing nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
This time, the American authorities are also unlikely to heed the recommendations of the ACA, said Konstantin Blokhin, an expert at the Center for Security Studies of the RAS. The fact is that the head of the White House primarily defends the interests of the American military-industrial complex, he said in an interview with RT.
“In the US there are a lot of non-governmental organizations that come up with their own proposals, but the general line of the government contradicts their opinion. Trump does not hide the fact that he is a lobbyist for the military-industrial complex, weapons modernization is one of the pillars of his election campaign, ”the analyst said.
According to Blokhin, the American elite is trying to change the strategic balance of power between the United States and Russia in their favor, and Washington believes that with the help of medium- and shorter-range missiles it will be possible to at least slow down the rate of decline of US political and economic influence in the world.
- USA congress
- © Jim Young / Reuters
“Gave Risks to Everyone”
According to the association’s report, without the Middle and Shorter-Range Missile Treaty and an active negotiation process, the US Congress and the authorities of other countries will have to find a new solution for the United States and Russia to advance in nuclear disarmament.
“Without the INF Treaty, serious negotiations and new proposals from Washington and Moscow, the US Congress, like other countries, will have to offer ingenious and pragmatic options for creating the conditions necessary to ensure that the two largest nuclear powers comply with their legal obligations to end the arms race and achieve progress in the field of nuclear disarmament, ”the Association said.
Recall that the INF Treaty expired on August 2, 2019 at the initiative of the United States. In Washington, they justified their withdrawal from the agreement by accusing Russia of 9M729 missiles allegedly violating the provisions of the agreement. Moscow rejects these allegations and believes that the INF Treaty did not comply with the American missile launchers of Mk41 missiles deployed in Eastern Europe, capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as heavy strike drones.
At the same time, Russia has repeatedly proposed discussing mutual claims. The Russian Defense Ministry even arranged a briefing for foreign military attaches, which showed the technical characteristics of 9M729 missiles, but US officials ignored it. In addition, the American side did not provide any evidence that the Russian Federation “violated” the INF Treaty.
According to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the responsibility for terminating the treaty lies entirely with the United States.
“The unilateral, on a far-fetched pretext, US withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the destruction of one of the fundamental documents in the field of arms control have seriously complicated the situation in the world and created fundamental risks for everyone. I emphasize: the responsibility for what happened lies entirely with the American side, ”said the President of the Russian Federation.
According to Konstantin Blokhin, the United States left the INF Treaty not only in order to deter its “enemies” - Russia and China, but also to control allies in Europe and Asia.
“The task is not only to intimidate Russia and China, but also to strengthen control over the European satellite allies, who in every possible way criticize American politics, and intimidate the Asian partners. We are talking about long-term interests that outweigh any informed decision, ”said the expert.
If the States decide to deploy previously banned missiles in Asia, this will further rally Moscow and Beijing against Washington, said Vladimir Batyuk, head of the Center for Military-Political Studies of the ISK RAS, in turn.
“The deployed US medium-range missiles in Asia, in the Indo-Pacific region will threaten both China and Russia. This will contribute to the rapprochement of the positions of the Russian Federation and China on a clear anti-American basis, ”he said.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin
- RIA News
- © Mikhail Klimentyev
A future without DRMSD
The Arms Control Association emphasizes that the presidents of Russia and the United States, as well as NATO representatives, should seriously study arms control mechanisms to prevent a new missile race. Analysts offer their three options for further action.
According to the first, NATO should officially declare that not a single member of the alliance will deploy any missiles in Europe that would be prohibited by the INF Treaty until Russia installs similar missiles capable of reaching the territory of the bloc. According to analysts, in this scenario, Russia will have to remove about 50 9M729 missiles deployed in the west of the country.
The second option involves the conclusion of a new agreement that will ban ground-based medium-range ballistic missiles or cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. According to the third scenario, Russia and NATO could make mutual commitments not to deploy such missiles that could strike at each other's territory.
In light of this, as Vladimir Batyuk noted, Russia has its own initiative to resolve the arms crisis. In particular, Moscow has repeatedly stated that it will not deploy medium-range missiles if the United States and NATO do not do the same in Europe.
“This could be the subject of dialogue in order to overcome the crisis in which Europe and the arms control process as a whole came after the ill-fated decision of the United States to withdraw from the INF Treaty,” he said.
Following the termination of the treaty, Vladimir Putin instructed Russian departments to monitor US steps to develop medium- and short-range missile programs, emphasizing that Moscow cannot ignore the state of affairs. At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry called on the United States and its allies to join the moratorium on the deployment of such missiles.
In conclusion, Konstantin Blokhin noted that in the current realities, Russia stands for arms control and international security, and in the United States, most likely, they are more striving for military superiority.
“American technocrats believe that with the help of technology they will be able to gain superiority and outperform competitors. First, exit from the ABM, and now the INF Treaty, ”he added.