President Trump has announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a key nuclear disarmament pact with Russia signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and approved by the U.S. Senate.
Congress should take action to keep the United States in the treaty. And either house of Congress alone has the power to refuse to fund any weapons prohibited by the treaty.
Click here to email your Representative and your two Senators.
Some members of Congress are already indicating an interest in taking action.
Congressman Ro Khanna has tweeted: "I am alarmed that President Trump is withdrawing from the INF treaty with Russia. This action plunges us back into a nuclear arms race and endangers our troops, allies, & the world, while wasting taxpayer dollars to prepare for a nuclear war that must never be fought."
The INF prohibits the United States and Russia from deploying both nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,420 miles. These are among the weapons most likely to lead to miscalculation or misadventure in a crisis.
Following ratification of the INF, the United States destroyed almost 1,000 missiles, and the Soviet Union almost 2,000. "But," writes Jon Schwarz at The Intercept, "arms control treaties are never about weapons and numbers alone. They can help enemy nations create virtuous circles, both between them and within themselves. Verification requires constant communication and the establishment of trust; it creates constituencies for peace inside governments and in the general public; this reduces on both sides the power of the paranoid, reactionary wing that exists in every country; this creates space for further progress; and so on."
Conversely, withdrawal from arms control treaties can feed vicious cycles of distrust, animosity, and militarization.
Click here to stop this disaster in its tracks.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which now shows the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight, points out: "The INF withdrawal is part of a pattern. It is not the first nuclear treaty the U.S. has terminated; at the end of 2001 the United States walked out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty it had signed with the Soviet Union in 1972."
Both the United States and Russia currently accuse each other of violating the INF Treaty. Wherever the truth lies, the solution is not to pull out of the treaty, but to redouble diplomatic efforts to resolve the allegations.
The United States and Russia control more than 90 percent of the world’s nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons. It is unlikely that any of the other nuclear-armed powers will be willing to engage in negotiations to control or eliminate these extraordinarily dangerous armaments if the United States abandons arms control.
A ratified treaty is a part of the “supreme law of the land,” former Senator Russell Feingold has noted — “which should logically mean that it could only be undone by Congress and the President, or at least by a vote of the Senate.”
Tell the first branch of government in the U.S. Constitution to step up and do its job.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
>> David Cortright, The Nation: “The Peace Movement Won the INF Treaty. We Must Fight to Preserve It.”
>> Russell Feingold, NBCnews.com: “Donald Trump can unilaterally withdraw from treaties because Congress abdicated responsibility”
>> Zia Mian, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “The INF Treaty and the crises of arms control”
>> Jon Schwarz, The Intercept: “What Trump and John Bolton Don’t Understand About Nuclear War”
>> Ira Helfand, CNN.com: “Sheer Luck Has Helped Us Avoid Nuclear War So Far – Now We Need to Take Action”