Nuclear Forces Treaty Needed to Keep the Peace in Europe
Washington – The Friends Committee today urged President Donald Trump not to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between Russia and the United States.
Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-903-2515
Signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, the treaty bans all land-based missiles with short and medium ranges (310 - 3,400 miles). It helped end the Cold War while destroying over 2,500 nuclear missiles.
“To withdraw from the treaty now will spread fear and uncertainty among our European and global allies. That is no road to go down,” said Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). “The INF has been a bedrock of peace and security in Europe. It helped to prevent a destabilizing arms race and continues to serve important U.S. national interests.”
Key Democratic and Republication leaders criticized this surprise move, especially since Congress was not consulted. American allies in Europe, including France, Germany, and the European Union, have said they value the INF treaty and oppose a hasty American withdrawal.
“President Ronald Reagan rightly boasted that he had ‘full Allied support’ when he signed the INF Treaty in 1987. By walking away from the treaty now, President Trump would free Russia to point more missiles at America’s allies,” explained Anthony Wier, FCNL’s Legislative Secretary for Nuclear Disarmament and Pentagon Spending. “President Trump once made his name as a builder, but with this move he and National Security Adviser John Bolton are wrecking another tool that has helped keep the peace in Europe and the world over.”
FCNL fears that walking away from the INF treaty could spark a new nuclear arms race and leave the U.S. and its allies poorer and less safe. The United States must not abandon the hard-learned lessons of the Cold War’s nearly catastrophic nuclear showdown—and must instead decisively engage with Russia to again start reducing nuclear risks and restoring much-needed trust and stability.
As a Quaker public interest lobby, FCNL seeks a world free of war and the threat of war.
For more information, please visit www.fcnl.org.