On Saturday, President Trump removed the US from a Cold War era missile treaty. The treaty, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, has maintained a nuclear free Europe since Reagan and Gorbachev signed it in 1987. Apparently, the President pulled out of the deal based on his beliefs that Russia is violating the agreement and that China is developing more sophisticated nuclear weapons, per the Independent.
Trump’s logic is that if everyone else is doing it, we should, too. At a Nevada rally, he said blatantly, “We’ll have to develop those weapons, “We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” per The Guardian.
Now, the President needs to decide where he can place his missiles so that they’re within range of China. The Independent spoke with a former Pentagon official who said anywhere including Japan, Guam and Australia would be within firing range. The problem, then, is how China will react when the US begins lobbying these countries to become nuclear firing sites. Australia and Japan may be able to stand up to China, or the US, but smaller countries in the area will be caught up in a losing battle.
That’s not all—Russia, now in an agreement with no one, has the freedom to do whatever it wants. The Guardian looked into Russia’s domestic headlines after Trump made the decision official, and most were demonizing the US. Media claimed that this move was part of a larger goal to become the single global power. It’s the perfect excuse for Russia to get creative with its nuclear technology.
Trump has claimed he’s friends with Putin, and even said he wants to open relationships with Russia. Yet he seemingly never communicated with Russia or the allies closest to it in Europe before making this unilateral decision. The President just burned many of America’s bridges and opened up a nuclear Pandora’s box. All in a day’s work.