Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 (INF) was the first Nuclear Weapons agreement requiring the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) to reduce, rather than merely limit, their arsenals of nuclear weapons. Signed by President ronald reagan, of the United States, and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, of the U.S.S.R., on December 8, 1987, the INF Treaty eliminated all land-based nuclear missiles with ranges of between 300 and 3,400 miles. The U.S. Senate quickly ratified the treaty in 1988 by a vote of 93–5.

The INF Treaty marked an historic shift in superpower relations and was the first super-power arms control treaty since 1979. It required the removal of 1,752 Soviet and 859 U.S. short- and intermediate-range missiles, most of which were located in Europe. It was the second superpower agreement to ban an entire class of weapons, the first being the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. The INF Treaty also contained unprecedented verification procedures, including mandatory exchanges of relevant missile data, on-site inspections, and satellite surveillance.

Soviet concessions in the INF negotiations grew out of Gorbachev's efforts to limit military competition between the United States and the U.S.S.R. The new Soviet willingness to make arms-control concessions was first evident in the 1986 Stockholm Accord, which established various confidence- and security-building measures between the superpowers and their allied countries, including on-site inspections and advance warning of military movements. In 1988, a year after signing the INF, Gorbachev continued his ambitious program of military cuts by announcing a unilateral reduction of 500,000 troops, including the removal of 50,000 troops and 5,000 tanks from eastern Europe. These developments met with a positive response from the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, and created an atmosphere that would be conducive to future arms accords, including the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty of 1990 and the strategic arms reduction treaties of 1991 and 1993.

Several successor states to the Soviet Union, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, continue to implement the treaty. Other European nations, including Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia, voluntarily destroyed their medium-range missiles in the 1990s. The United States also persuaded Bulgaria to destroy its missiles in 2002. The right of parties to the treaty to conduct on-site inspections expired on May 31, 2001. However, parties still may conduct satellite surveillance to ensure that member states comply with the treaty. The treaty established the Special Verification Commission to implement the treaty, and the commission continues to meet regularly.

Further readings

Falkenrath, Richard A. 1995. Shaping Europe's Military Order: The Origins and Consequences of the CFE Treaty. Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.

Sheehan, Michael. 1988. Arms Control: Theory and Practice. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.

Wirth, Timothy E. 1988. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Conventional Balance in Europe. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Arms Control and Disarmament; Cold War; Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.

References in periodicals archive ?
In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the December 1987 signing of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Force Treaty between the Soviet Union and the United States, this volume collects analyses written by members the US negotiating team during negotiations and immediately after the signing of the treaty, with the exception of two introductory essays written in 2011-12 for this book.
In another sign of deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, the US government said on Monday that Moscow had violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty, and urged immediate bilateral talks on the issue.
It does not reflect the elimination of thousands of Soviet and US warheads achieved through the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Deletes obsolete text pertaining to Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty inspections; deletes unnecessary first article testing and approval requirements; and relocates procedures for requesting pre-award surveys and obtaining approval for product qualification requirements to PGI.
Developing such weapons would be possible within the constraints of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing ground-based ballistic or cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
Iran's Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 missiles are based on Soviet SS-4 rockets illegally transferred to Iran in clear violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime signed by Russia in 1995 and the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Moscow in 1987.
Under the auspices of ABM, the two nations have cooperated on arms reduction efforts such as the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and START I, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of warheads.
The implementation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the two START agreements has resulted in the first real reductions in the nuclear forces of the U.
He was an inspection team chief for the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, conducting inspections of Soviet nuclear missiles and sites.

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