President Trump’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty nullifies a historic precedent. Stephen Cohen elaborates on the following points regarding Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by the US and (Soviet) Russia in 1987. – For whatever reasons, both leaders at the time, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, had developed a deep personal fear of nuclear weapons. After agreeing in principle, though informally, in February 1986 that all nuclear weapons should be eliminated, the following year they abolished an entire category of those instruments of mass destruction: nuclear-warhead-bearing missiles with a range of some 500-5,500 kilometers. – The INF Treaty was focused on Europe, which was targeted by Soviet missiles and which was where US counter-missiles were based. It was a major step in a diplomatic process of grand détente that both Reagan and Gorbachev thought would end the Cold War and nuclear arms…

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