The US withdrawal from the INF Treaty: a European History (last part)

With the rise of Putin and the rapid recovery of a prominent position as the power of the intermediate level of Russia, we have begun in our opinion the new phase of confrontation that today brings Trump to withdraw from the INF Treaty.

The new confrontation with Russia in Europe

The fact is that this new confrontation mainly has Europe, since the USA has accepted without particular concern the new role of Russia, for example, in the Syrian question, perhaps relying on the fact that Russia would have finished To get bogged down there like in a new Afghanistan, which hasn't happened. It was certainly the Ukrainian question, of which I dealt extensively elsewhere1, to push more and more the United States, when they were still led by the Democratic Obama, assisted Foreign affairs from Mrs. Hillary Clinton, towards a military strengthening on the borders of Russia. On March 5, 2014, in fact, Obama announced the start of a military collaboration with Ukraine, justified not so much by the remain of a situation of low-intensity conflict in the Donbas, still ongoing, but as retaliation for the fact that Russia had, without Shot wounded, reoccupied the Crimea, however historically Russian. On June 3, 2014, the U.S. President officially launched the European reassurance Initiative, asking the U.S. Congress for a billion dollars to be entered in the U.S. defence budget 2015 between Overseas Contingency Operations ( OCO). The aim was to finance a series of military measures to strengthen its own military devices and European allies, particularly in the east-European countries bordering on Russia.

In this context, we were already reporting at the time the importance of the decision to increase the Aegis missile system in the European theatre, through the deployment of four cruisers equipped with this weapon system, based in Rota in Spain, to which They added two other aegis launchers, this time based on the ground, each with 24 missiles: one of them has already been installed in Deveselu in Romania, in 2015; The installation in Poland of the second, scheduled for 2018, seems to be undergoing considerable delays, because of the company in charge of the work, according to what they declared senior U.S. officials in Congress. The whole is coordinated by an AN/TPY-2 radar system located in Turkey.

To these measures, officially motivated by the threat posed by Iran, was followed, in July 2014, by the American accusation to Russia of violating the INF Treaty, identifying this breach in the deployment of the Russian system R-500.

The Russians, for their part, immediately pointed out that this carrier has a capacity of less than 500 km, thus remaining below the limits provided for by the Treaty; The same would also be worth for its later version S-500, which among other things should come in line not before 2020. Moscow did not fail to observe that the American systems Aegis, which has just been said, as well as the subsequent Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, as well as the extensive use of drones that are actually masked cruise missiles, make these U.S. accusations of All instrumental.

Finally, in December 2017, Washington's intelligence services reported that the Russian 9m729 missile would violate the INF: The Russians pointed out that it is a short-range carrier, but that it follows the dictates of the INF, as it is less than 500 KM., whereas, according to certain western estimates, this vector could reach 3000 nautical miles.

The fact remains, repeatedly highlighted in the official statements and comments of the Russian press, that Russia is now surrounded by missile systems scattered throughout its European frontier, a threat therefore very close, to Difference than could ever happen to the United States. An asymmetry which, on the military level, already poses for itself Russia in a position of unrecoverable disadvantage, for the fact that the North American territory is not reachable by missiles with intermediate range.

The role of John R. Bolton

Not least, it should be recalled that the complaint of the INF Treaty by the US is accompanied by the withdrawal from the JCPOA agreement on the long-standing, thorny and dangerous issue of Iran's possible development of nuclear weapons.

A withdrawal that, like the one from INF, was inspired by the president's new National Security Advisor, U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton, in office since last April 2018, well known for his extreme impatience towards any strategic constraint placed To the United States of America. Bolton Moreover, as we have already had a way of explaining already a few years ago2, is a typical representative of that interventionist orientation in international politics that prompted him in December 1997, together with other members of the famous "Pnac" circle, to write a public letter to the then US President in which he stated in clear letters "Saddam must go".

Member of important imperialist think tanks and pro-Zionists such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, the Council of Foreign Relations, Bolton, after serving the Reagan administrations and Bush Sr. With tasks of international relevance, for instance successfully opposing the UN resolution that equated racism and Zionism, it was, in the Bush administration Jr., first Secretary of state for arms control and security International, then US representative to the United Nations.

All this makes it clear that the changes to the United States Presidency have never changed the underlying orientation of American world politics. The reader now understands why we wanted to rebuild, at the risk of being very verbose and boring, the INF issue from the Seventies: Why a long-time decision maker like John R. Bolton has lived this whole story, so we can not Superficially think that Trump's decision today is the result of an easy improvisation. There is behind a long-term vision, developed by the protagonists themselves.

In the course of these almost forty years, however, have changed at least three things, elements that in conclusion we believe are important to highlight.

Firstly, all of this makes it possible to use such deadly weapons in Europe, just when, even if Europe is no longer divided into two parts, it is perhaps today even more dependent on North Atlantic strategic Choices, since Eastern Europe has been Readily incorporated by the NATO system, while the European Union is a quantitative négligeable on the politico-military level. Second point, the presence of a new global actor, China, which in recent years, within the framework of an old-fashioned power policy, has also developed many new generation missiles, mainly destined to operate just within range prohibited From the INF, which it is necessary to remember, has never adhered to. Third Point, the situation in the Middle East where, compared to the Seventies, the choices made by the mixed Israeli-American ruling class (just the one of which Bolton is a very representative element) have determined a level of conflict that makes Of this area the possible detonator of conflicts to which neither the United States, nor Russia, nor Europe can think of remains for a long time strangers.

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  1. G. Colonna, Ukraine between East and west, Edilibri, Milan, 2014. []
  2. G. Colonna, Middle East without peace, Edilibri, Milan, 2009, p. 296. []