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A Strategy for (Modestly Increasing the Chance of) Saving the INF Treaty

Published by Russia Matters

By James M. Acton

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is, most likely, a dead pact walking. Not only are the prospects of Russia returning to compliance with the treaty extremely bleak, but even serious discussions between Washington and Moscow about the treaty’s implementation seem like a diplomatic bridge too far right now. Without a process that offers at least some hope of a solution, the treaty’s survival is likely to be threatened—probably sooner rather than later—by either abrogation or irrelevance.

From a U.S. perspective, this outcome would be deeply undesirable. Although the United States signed the INF Treaty almost 30 years ago in a quite different geopolitical context with a state (the Soviet Union) that no longer exists, the agreement still serves the security interests of the United States and its allies.

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