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.”
The following article by Katrina vanden Heuvel , chief editor of The Nation magazine, was originally published 25 September 2018 by the Washington Post. We are grateful to the author’s permission to reprint. Her article begins with an appeal in particular to the the Progressives among the U.S. Democrats: “A clear message is needed: Enough with endless wars and the global oligarchy.” ... Now, we need a forceful articulation of a progressive foreign policy.
To date, the progressive left’s national security policy has been mostly missing in action. Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign did much to frame the domestic agenda, but paid less attention to foreign policy. Democrats in Congress have too often criticized President Trump from the right — for not being tough enough on Russia, for questioning the United States’ allies, for preemptive diplomacy with North Korea. There are a few exceptions — such as Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)’s emphasis on diplomacy as well as challenges to U.S. misadventures in Afghanistan from Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.). And the Congressional Progressive Caucus has called for a more sensible military budget. Yet none have gained much traction.
In January 2017 SIPRI presented a new publication:
Reintroducing Disarmament and Cooperative Security to the Toolbox of 21st Century Leaders
edited by Dan Plesch, Kevin Miletic and Tariq Rauf
… To the vast majority of people, ‘disarmament’
In the case of New START, it was conventional hawkish boilerplate back in 2009-2010 that Russia benefited more from the treaty, but this wasn’t true. It represented the continuation of a mutually beneficial arms reduction process, and it ensured that reductions by both sides would be verified by inspections....
In January 2017 the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published a report “Reintroducing