On October 20th, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he and his administration were planning to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. In a very historic event, U.S. President Ronald Reagan engineered the INF in 1987 between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. (The treaty later switched between the U.S. and Russia.) Due to this treaty, by 1991 the U.S. and Soviet Union had destroyed all such missiles they had, which totaled nearly 2,700 intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
The INF requires that the U.S. and Russia are “not to posses, produce, or flight test” any nuclear missiles having a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Of course, both nations still possess their much deadlier ICBMs. These have a global range and thus can strike any nation. In accordance with the restrictions of the START II nuclear disarmament treaty between the U.S. and now Russia, each country has a total of about 1,500 ICBM nuclear warheads. They used to have tens of thousands. (My next book may include a now finished chapter on the history of nuclear weapons disarmament. But it may be too dull of a subject for most readers, so that I may have to eliminate it.)
President Trump’s neo-con National Security Advisor John Bolton is the main guy promoting this INF withdrawal. However, in 2015 the U.S. State Department, thus under the Obama administration, began alleging that Russia was in non-compliance regarding this treaty. Russia denies that it is in noncompliance. In Trump’s October 20th speech this year he declared concerning INF, “Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for years. We are not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement.” He further complained that China is not a signatory to this treaty, yet it has been making such weapons for years. Trump continued, “We’ll have to develop those weapons unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say, ‘Let’s really get smart, and let’s none of us develop those weapons.’ But if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable.” How can you argue with that?
However, Europe is very unhappy with the idea that the U.S. may pull out of INF. Tump critics claim the better route would be for the U.S. to stay in the agreement and try harder to make it better, perhaps even getting China to join.
Russian President Vladimir Putin–whom Trump has strangely cozied up to during his presidency–then warned the U.S., “The aggressors should know revenge is inevitable and they will be destroyed. And we, as victims of aggression, will go straight to heaven as martyrs while they will just croak.” Ha, that is, if one can laugh at this serious subject.
This Putin comment reveals something spiritual, or should I say “ecclesiastical,” about both Putin and Russia. Since the demise of the atheistic, communistic Soviet Union, when it collapsed in late 1991, Russia has been changing about religion. It has been returning to its Christian roots. The Russian Orthodox Church used to have a major presence, and therefore influence, in Russian society before the Bolsheviks seized control of the government in 1917. Plus, Putin is known to visit Russian Orthodox retreats to mingle with its priests and get a little R&R.
Right after Putin made that comment, a Russian government official threatened that Russia could develop drones carrying nuclear bombs with which to attack the U.S. Oh my goodness! How all this technology, including the internet which I am using in writing this post and sending it out, can be used for such evil purposes. God save us!