The US government under the Trump administration has not “made America great again,” but has made the world more dangerous by loosening the shackles that previous presidents and politicians instituted to prevent certain situations from happening again. Two examples of these are the restraints placed on Germany and Japan, which Trump has removed, concerning their militarization. Trump also removed a third one, which was the US participation in the INF treaty that was put in to prevent another “arms race” between the US and Russia or increasingly, China.
Now that the US has removed herself from this treaty, she has recently tested a previously banned missile, much to the anger of Russia:
The Pentagon announced Monday that the military conducted a test over the weekend of a type of missile that previously had been banned for the last 30 years under a treaty between the United States and Russia.
The test, which took place off the coast of California, marks the resumption of an arms competition that some analysts worry could increase U.S.-Russia tensions after the two world powers abandoned a long-standing treaty earlier this month.
The Trump administration says it remains interested in useful arms control but questions Moscow’s willingness to adhere to its treaty commitments.
The Pentagon on Monday said it tested a modified ground-launched version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile. The department said the missile was launched from San Nicolas Island and accurately struck its target after flying more than 500 kilometers (310 miles). The missile was armed with a conventional, not nuclear, warhead.
The Trump administration, which gave its six-month notice on Feb. 2 of its pending withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, had repeatedly said Russia was violating its provisions, an accusation then-President Barack Obama made as well.
“The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in announcing the formal withdrawal in early August, calling a Russian missile system prohibited under the agreement a “direct threat to the United States and our allies.”
Russia said earlier this month, following the demise of the INF treaty, that it would only deploy new intermediate-range missiles if the U.S. does.
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the U.S. exit from the treaty “in a unilateral way and under a far-fetched reason,” saying that it “seriously exacerbated the situation in the world and raised fundamental risks for all.”
He said in a statement that Russia will carefully monitor Washington’s actions and respond in kind if it sees that the U.S. is developing and deploying new intermediate-range missiles.
The INF Treaty, which was signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banned the production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,410 miles). Such weapons were seen as particularly destabilizing because of the shorter time they take to reach targets compared with intercontinental ballistic missiles, raising the likelihood of a nuclear conflict over a false launch alert.
“If we receive reliable information that the U.S. has completed the development and launched production of the relevant systems, Russia will have to engage in full-scale development of similar missiles,” Putin said.
Following the exit from the INF, a senior Trump administration official downplayed the U.S. weapons test, saying it was not meant to be a provocation to Russia. The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the test flight, said the U.S. is “years away” from effectively deploying weapons previously banned under the agreement. (source, source)
Now in all fairness, Putin is likely making these statements for the same reason that Russia recently met with Macron and he exclaimed that Europe extends from “Vladivostok to Lisbon” and that Russia is a “part of Europe,” which is that Russia knows that without Germany (the real power behind the EU), Russia cannot hope to defeat the US in any conflict.
One will hear much talk from Russia about being “not a part of Europe at all” or, as in this case, being a “part of Europe” even to the Sea of Japan. It is all just statements made depending on the political expediency of the situation.
But likewise, there is a point to be said about criticizing the missile launch. The US may have martial ambitions, but pursuing such a course is likely NOT going to have any peaceful consequences. It is only an encouragement to another arms race and the setting of a serious World War, which is something that she wants for multiple reasons, two of which among the many are to eliminate Russia and China as major competitors and then to reset the debased dollar in order to continue, through the issuance of a new dollar, the status of the US as holding the world’s reserve currency.
At this point, it does not matter what one feels towards either nation- the US or Russia -or another, because human life takes precedence over all forms of peacock-type behavior when it comes to power.
These missile tests are evil and dangerous, since they are provoking serious violence with potentially global consequences. There is no reason to have them. Indeed, if Obama did such a thing he would be rightfully criticized by the “right”, so why does Trump deserve and exception to them on what would appear to be nothing more that political bias drawn along the arbitrary Democrat-Republican divider when they profess the same philosophy in practice?
Russia is right to be angry, even if it is only for selfish reasons. What remains to be seen as a result of these tests is whether or not Germany and her allies such as France will continue to stay in the American sphere of influence, or whether they will craft an agreement similar to the Molotov-Ribbentropf pact and in so doing, draw Turkey into their sphere and in doing so, create a juggernaut that both pushes the Americans out as well as unites Europe as a collective force that would become a serious political and military force.
France has always been a semi-ally of Germany and a frequent ally of Russia for geopolitical reasons. It will be interesting to see if the recent meetings will bring forth something more than political rhetoric in the months and years to come.