ON-Lion Letter

Jim Thomas, vice president and director of studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington, D.C., testified before the House Armed Services Committee's Strategic Forces Subcommittee in July about the future of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

Suspected Russian violations of the INF Treaty come at a time of great strategic uncertainty for the United States globally, according to Thomas.  While compliance issues must be swiftly addressed, the U.S. should also widen the aperture for evaluating the INF Treaty to ensure that it serves its broader, global interests and security commitments.

A treaty that bars two countries from pursuing certain militarily desirable classes of missiles, while providing no protection against other states -- some of which pose threats towards America and its allies -- doing the same, must be constantly re-evaluated to determine the tipping point when the costs of arms control overtake the benefits, he continued.  That day is quickly approaching.

Now is the time to begin contemplating a world beyond the INF Treaty and taking appropriate precautionary steps, he advised.  Paradoxically, doing so may offer the best course to preserving the viability of the treaty farther into the future.

A transcript and video of his testimony are available online.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports CSBA.

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