Early October 2018 President Trump announced his intention to terminate the INF agreement on banning land-based nuclear medium-range missiles which Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 had agreed upon. Trump's announcement has led to a quick reaction in Germany: On 26 October 2018 nine former SPD leaders and four former ministers issued a call to stop a new nuclear arms race in Europe. "New intermediate range missiles will have even less warning time than the systems of the 1980s, the very weapons against which millions of people took to the streets in peaceful manifestations. This increases the risk of an unintended nuclear confrontation due to errors and miscalculations." Within a week more than 5,000 German citizens had declared their support via the Internet: No nuclear arms race in Europe!
Archives for November 2018
My daughter Nika was born just a few years after Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan signed the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, one of the world’s most important nuclear arms accords. With the stroke of two pens, the agreement banned an entire class of nuclear weapons, led to the destruction of nearly 2,700 warheads and diminished the threat of nuclear war in Europe. At the time, Gorbachev said, “We can be proud to plant this sapling, which someday may grow to be a full tree of peace.” Thirty-one years later, President Trump is taking an ax to that tree. This month, he announced that the United States will withdraw from the INF, all but inviting a new arms race: “We have more money than anybody else by far,” Trump said. “We’ll build it up until [China and Russia] come to their senses.”