Steve Lendman – INF Infowar – 3 January 2015

StevelendmanThe 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) formally is called The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles.

It mandates eliminating nuclear and conventional ground-launched  ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges from 500 – 5,500 kilometers (300 – 3,400 miles).

Treaty provisions currently apply to America, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Excluding Pentagon naval nuclear missiles.

As well as arsenals of nuclear armed Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.

Washington and Moscow accuse each other of INF violations. US administration allegations cite a Russian ballistic missile Moscow says has intercontinental range.

As well as Russia’s R-500 land-based cruise missile. Able to destroy ballistic missile and air defense systems.

Including sea-based Aegis BMD ones. Posing a potential serious threat to Russian security.

Moscow categorically denies Washington’s scharges. Calling them baseless. Citing clear US violations.

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement called US accusations “just as unsubstantiated as everything that has recently been heard by Moscow coming from Washington, including other issues.”

“There is absolutely no (corroborating) evidence provided…” Treaty issue obligations on both sides are longstanding, it stressed.

“They are well-known on both sides.” Need working on constantly. Diplomatically. Without irresponsible accusations.

“This cooperation is all the more important, as we have accumulated a considerable amount of complaints to (about US violations) in the framework of the treaty.”

“In particular, on target missile defense tests similar in characteristics to the short and intermediate-range missiles and the manufacturing of armed drones, which meet the treaty’s definition of ground-launched cruise missiles.”

Including America’s MK 41 Vertical Launching System. Intended for deployment in Poland and Romania. As part of its missile defense shield.

“These systems can launch intermediate-range cruise missiles and their land-based version can be regarded as a direct violation of the INF Treaty,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

Washington refuses to discuss it. As well as related issues. US officials “listen (only) to themselves.”

Pertinent issues remain unresolved. INF provisions mandate eliminating an entire category of nuclear weapons. Provide for on-site verification.

Washington circumvents its obligations. At the same time, irresponsibly accuses Russia of treaty violations.

Obama is a serial liar. On April 5, 2009, he promised “America’s commitment to seek peace and security (in) a world without nuclear weapons.”

Pledging “concrete steps” never taken. Including significantly reducing nuclear stockpiles. Banning testing.

Halting fissile material production. Preventing nuclear proliferation and use. Pursuing meaningful diplomacy with Iran and North Korea.

Resolving key security challenges to create conditions for a world without nuclear weapons. That was then. This is now.

America intends maintaining the world’s most powerful state-of-the-art nuclear, chemical, biological, and other type weapons of mass destruction.

More advanced and dangerous than ever. Deployed globally. Maintaining Washington’s first-strike policy.

Obama’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reflects old wine in new bottles. Rhetoric changed, not policy.

NPR 2010 said America “reserves the right” to use nuclear weapons. “(W)arranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat and US capacities to counter that threat.”

No threats whatever exist. Claims otherwise afe false. More advanced weapons replace older ones. US nuclear policy menaces humanity.  Prioritizing greater first-strike capability.

Unilaterally asserting the right to attack preemptively. Without just cause. Mindless of consequences.

Reflecting America’s rage for war. Its quest for global dominance. No matter the risks or costs.

Washington ignores its treaty obligations. Operating unconstrained. Developing advanced weapons of mass destruction.

Intending to spend over $1 trillion over the next three decades. Significantly upgrading its nuclear weapons capability. Including new submarines. Bombers. ICBMs. More powerful warheads.

Citing baseless threats. None whatever exist. Invented ones justify the unjustifiable. America seems bent on eventually using nuclear weapons. It won’t be the first time. Maybe the last.

At the same time, unconscionably accusing Russia of its own transgressions. New York Times editors regurgitated official Big Lies.

On New Year’s day headlining “A Vital Nuclear Agreement, at Risk.” Saying  “Washington accuse(d) Moscow of violating at least five (arms control treaty) agreements.”

Claiming INF violations. Calling them “most serious.” Irresponsibly saying “Russia, flush with oil money…push(es) a more aggressive foreign policy…” Including new cruise missile tests.

\Outrageously calling things complicated by “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns that (he’s) determined to reconstitute the Soviet Union…”

No legitimate analysts anywhere believe this rubbish. No US officials privately. No foreign ones. Public rhetoric constitutes Big Lies.

Times and likeminded editors regurgitate them. Ignoring hard truths. Longstanding MSM policy. Propaganda bullhorn disinformation proliferators for wealth, power and privilege.

Claiming Putin “may be eager to face down the West” belies his clear intentions. Supporting multi-world polarity.

Sovereign state inviolability. Respect for international law. Mutual cooperation with all nations. Peace, security and stability. Going all out to resolve ongoing conflicts diplomatically.

At the same time, justifiably concerned about Washington’s imperial ambitions. Confronting Russia politically and economically. Potentially belligerently.

Times editors consistently ignore US international law violations. Failure to observe its treaty obligations. It global military threat.

Possible preemptive nuclear war on Russia. Maybe China and Iran.

Instead, irresponsibly saying “(t)he United States and its allies should make efforts to bring Russia back into compliance with the (INF) treaty, and Russia needs to know that defiance will come at a cost.”

Consistent US policy involves blaming others for its own transgressions. Often victims of its high crimes against peace.

Times and other MSM editors are in lockstep with its most outrageous accusations. With no fact-checking due diligence to report hard truths. Buried to regurgitate Big Lies.

Washington bears full responsibility for world destabilizing conditions. Rogue NATO members, Israel and other belligerent partners share it.

In mid-August, RT International interviewed Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov. Discussing INF disputes and other relevant issues.

A special commission was established to address INF compliance, said Antanov. Procedures adopted proved “highly effective.”

Despite complex treaty goals. “(N)ot a single matter remained unresolved.” A complete elimination “of two classes of the most dangerous missiles” was accomplished.

Moscow was “very much surprised when (Washington) ignored the dispute resolution procedures provided in the treaty and chose to simply leak their ungrounded accusations to the press.”

“The answer is simple,” said Antonov. “(A) massive wave of US claims and allegations is part of the anti-Russian campaign unleashed by Washington in connection with the Ukraine crisis.”

“And the US is ready to exploit any means to discredit Russia.”

“It is hard to escape the conclusion that amid a deterioration of US-Russian relations over the Ukraine crisis, Washington is planning a new propaganda move that is supposed to cast a shadow on Russia.”

“The White House wants to launch a new offensive in the information war, accuse Moscow of non-compliance with its international commitments, and demonstrate so-called ‘Russia’s international isolation.’ ”

“If the US had other goals in mind, it would have relied on time-tested procedures set out in the INF Treaty as well as other formats of negotiations.”

“I have never heard of a single case when disputes arising from an international treaty have been resolved via the mass media.”

“This can only lead to yet another escalation and a complete stalemate.”

Russia examined all US concerns carefully, said Antonov. Provided detailed explanations. “(W)hich seemed to have satisfied our American counterparts at the time. At least that’s what they told us.”

Moscow presented its own concerns. Including target missiles used “in development testing of missile defense systems whose performance is very much similar to the missile types banned by the INF treaty,” said Antonov.

]US drone warfare. Its MK 41 launching systems. Planned for Poland and Romania deployments.

Some issues raised remain unanswered. All are unresolved.

“(W)e were surprised that the annual report on international compliance with arms control agreements says that Russia never raised any concerns over Washington’s compliance with the INF Treaty in 2013,” said Antonov.

“Such a statement is a distortion of the real state of affairs, at the very least.”

In meetings with Russian defense ministry officials, Putin resolved to observe INF provisions.

At the same time, European and world conditions changed significantly since Soviet Russia’s dissolution, Antonov explained. A different dynamic exists.

All former Warsaw Pact countries (except Russia) are NATO members. So are former Soviet Republics Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

In the 1980s, few countries had short and intermediate-range missiles. Besides America and Russia.

Today, dozens have them. “(M)ost…are in close proximity to Russia,” said Antonov.

US-dominated NATO is “actively building a global missile defense system. Its European segment features anti-ballistic missiles launched from MK 41 launching systems that the US Navy usually uses for Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles.”

Despite no justifiable threats. Invented ones suffice. Russia’s concerns remain unresolved.

It voiced them “regarding the INF Treaty binding only two super-powers at different international platforms,” said Antonov.

“We have urged all the countries of the world to use the potential of the treaty to contribute to the disarmament process in a continuous and timely way.”

“We underscored the importance of ridding the world of two types of deadly missiles.”

Russia drafted a resolution. Introduced it in the UN. To adjust to current realities. Benefitting all nations.

Nothing was accomplished. NATO members objected. Other countries with these type weapons want to keep them. Washington did nothing to help.

Moscow remains committed to responsible dialogue. Wanting a world free from destructive weapons.

America stands formidably in the way. World peace hangs in the balance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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