By Patrick Brogan
Concerns are growing in Moscow and Havana over US plans to pull-out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Arms Treaty (INF). Both Russia and Cuba believe this will increase the threat of a potential nuclear war. The US has said it believes the Russians have previously violated the treaty, something which the Russians deny.
The agreement was signed in 1987 by presidents Reagan and Gorbachev. In the mid-70s, the USSR developed missiles that were close to matching the range of those in the US. The treaty was signed knowing this trend could put all human life on earth near extinction. More worrying is the context. Donald Trump when being briefed by the military in the run-up to the US Presidential Election repeatedly asked why the US doesn’t use nuclear weapons.
According to Doomsday Clock, which measures the possibility of a nuclear holocaust, we are at two minutes to midnight, meaning we are gravely close to such an event. It hasn’t been this close in a number of years. In their most recent report, it was stated;
The year just past proved perilous and chaotic,
a year in which many of the risks foreshadowed
in our last Clock statement came into full relief.
In 2017, we saw reckless language in the nuclear
realm heat up already dangerous situations
and re-learned that minimizing evidence-based
assessments regarding climate and other global
challenges does not lead to better public policies.
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