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.

Cross-references

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

References in periodicals archive ?
Land-based missiles with a range of 310 to 3400 miles were banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Land-based missiles with a range of 310 to 3,400 miles were banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Washington formally withdrew from the treaty - signed by the Soviets and the US in 1987 - three weeks ago after accusing Moscow of breaking it.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian foreign ministry expressed concern about the US testing of a new cruise missile, and called on the international community to show reaction to the move after the country withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a landmark arms control agreement between Washington and Moscow.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was signed by the late US President Ronald Reagan and the ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.
Washington formally withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Aug.
Thankfully, better sense prevailed and the US and USSR signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987.
The test occurred after the recent collapse of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) earlier this month, with the U.S.
[USA], Aug 20 (ANI): The Pentagon on Monday said it had tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 500 kilometres, the first such test since the United States pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
The US announced on Monday that it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with the Soviet Union.
He said the US and Russia are returning to development and deployment of nuclear weapons after the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was dissolved.
Russia has failed to comply with its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and as such, the United States has withdrawn from the INF Treaty effective today, Aug.
"It's fair to say, though, that we would like to deploy a capability sooner rather than later," said the US defense secretary, whose comments come on the heels of the expiration of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty.

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