A far distant second is that Trump and Putin want to pull China in and this is a ploy with Russia to start new negotiations.
US President Trump did Russian President Putin a favor by leaving a treaty limiting some nuclear weapons, a Russia analyst tells DW. The world may need to prepare for a new Cold War.
Putin publicly spoke about that in October 2007, saying Russia will leave the treaty if America will not help make it international because Russia and America do not have these missiles — but China does. Now the same pretext is being used by the Americans with China.
Ninety percent of China's missiles fall in the INF bracket, so if they join the treaty they will have to destroy 90 percent of their missiles, which they have refused to do and will refuse to do. So that's not an option.
Over the past few days the shape of what many in Europe and the United States call a new Cold War has begun to emerge — with threats and nuclear weapons that resemble the old one, punctuated by new dynamics, in part because of the rise of a rich, expanding and nationalist China.
Past attempts to embarrass President Vladimir V. Putin into changing his behavior, in both the nuclear and cyberconflict arenas, have failed. During the Obama administration, the exposure of Russia’s violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2014 did nothing to alter Moscow’s arms buildup. Nor did the decision to name Mr. Putin as the man behind the 2016 attack on the Democratic National Committee and the widespread use of social media to widen fissures in American politics. There is little evidence that the indictment of the Internet Research Agency and members of Mr. Putin’s military intelligence have deterred the Russians.
But in both cases China is also lurking in the background, a powerful force in a way it never was in the first Cold War, which began just as Mao declared the creation of the People’s Republic. And while China appears to be the reason for Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the missile treaty with Russia, it is causing new anxieties in a Europe already mistrustful of Mr. Trump’s “America First” foreign and trade policies.
Mr. Trump argued correctly that the arms treaty, signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, left China free to build up its own nuclear and conventional missiles of all ranges. (China was never part of the negotiations, and never a signatory to the treaty.) And perhaps as part of his effort to deflect discussion of whether Russia succeeded in manipulating the 2016 election, Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have accused China of meddling, too — seeking to shape American public opinion more through investment, trade and theft of intellectual property than covert cybermanipulation.
The Trump Administration identifies both Russia and China as “revisionist powers” and “strategic competitors” of the United States. But when it comes to countering their nuclear advances and their increasingly innovative use of cyberconflict to outmaneuver their adversaries, Mr. Trump’s long-term strategy remains a mystery — beyond promises to match every military buildup, and strike back hard.
Whether it was real or a negotiating ploy, Mr. Trump’s declaration on Saturday that he was ready, if necessary, to plunge the world back into a 1950’s-style arms race is bound to cause yet another rift between Washington and its European allies — exactly the kind of fracture inside NATO that Mr. Putin has tried to create.
The Europeans do not deny that Russia has violated the I.N.F. treaty, which Kevin Ryan, an expert on Russian arms at the Belfer Center at Harvard, noted recently was “negotiated at a time that was equally, if not more, contentious.” At the time, hundreds of thousands of Europeans demonstrated against the deployment of American Pershing II intermediate-range missiles on their soil as a counterbalance to Soviet SS-20s. That deployment led to the I.N.F. treaty Mr. Trump now wants to dump.
Most European leaders — especially the Germans — believe other weapons systems deter the Russians, including air- and ground-launched missiles. For them, Mr. Trump’s decision to abandon one of the few remaining treaties controlling nuclear weapons fits a narrative of “America First” at the expense of existing, long-term alliances, like NATO — and is the latest in a series of abandoned agreements, from the Paris accord on climate to the Iranian nuclear deal.
In this case, they see few advantages from leaving the treaty. Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister, called the move “a gift to Russia that exposes Europe to a growing nuclear threat,” because as the United States enters an arms race, “Russia can quickly deploy new weapons in numbers.”
The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, called the decision regrettable, noting that it “poses difficult questions for us and for Europe” since it is the Europeans who are in range of the Russian missiles, not the United States.
Mr. Gorbachev, unsurprisingly, decried the Trump decision as reckless, asking: “Do they really not understand in Washington what this can lead to?”
Moreover, the Europeans believe Mr. Trump’s strategy — praising Mr. Putin when the two appear together as they did in Helsinki, then letting his aides step up pressure — is, if anything, emboldening the Russian leader. They were stunned to see Russia send a hit squad to Britain to try to kill a former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei V. Skripal, despite having exchanged him in a spy-swap years before. And Russia continues to freely meddle in European politics, most recently trying to block the accession of Macedonia to both NATO and the European Union.
But the European reaction has been disorganized. While NATO countries have put more troops in Baltic nations and Poland, and is preparing a huge military exercise in the North Atlantic, there is no agreed-on strategy over what red lines should be set to respond to Russian activity. Nowhere is that clearer than in the realm of cyberwarfare, where Europeans are spending more money on collective defense, but NATO has no offensive capability and no agreement about what kind of interference by the Russians calls for a response.
For his part, Mr. Putin has calibrated his actions with care. He denies that the Russian deployment of what the West calls an SSC-8 missile violates the treaty. And he has accused the United States — long before Mr. Trump was elected — of violating the treaty itself, arguing that antimissile batteries it has placed in Europe could be used to fire other missiles that violate the ban on weapons that can reach 300 to 3,500 miles.
If the breach with Russia opens, it will most likely rekindle the Europeans’ fear that their territory would be the battlefield for the superpowers.
“I am deeply worried,” Wolfgang Ischinger, the former German ambassador to the United States, said on Sunday. He urged Washington instead to try to expand the treaty, by bringing in China. “No way European allies like Germany could live through another I.N.F.” deployment, he wrote on Twitter, “a la 1980s: that road is closed.”
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The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles) is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union (and later its successor state, in particular the Russian Federation). Signed in Washington, D.C. by President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on 8 December 1987, the treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on 27 May 1988 and came into force on 1 June 1988.
I don't want to experience this again.
Germany's economy is #4 in the world. Russia's is #11; behind Italy, Brazil and Canada.
Take some of your money and invest in defense against the Russian Bear.
the only thing he's proving is that he's not up to the job.
The strategic rivalry between the US and China in the Asia Pacific could heat up if both sides develop new nuclear weapons. Chinese media are already calling for Beijing to expand its nuclear deterrence capability.
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Surely we should increase our defence budget a little and modernise the armed forces.
But I don't think we can be on a military par with Russia or the US (or China). And above all, want to get there.
Which was probably one of the reasons why we became a NATO member. And we were allowed to become one.
Since 1945 there wasn't a war in the region I live in - besides said Cold War, compared to more than a dozens in the centuries before.
I like peaceful coexistence better than potential conflicts through armament.