A new arms race appears to be kicking off between the United States and Russia, and a national defense analyst says Russia has been cheating for years.
The United States has announced plans to test a new missile in coming weeks that would have been prohibited under the 32-year-old Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty.
President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the INF treaty in 1987, and now the U.S. is blaming Moscow for the end of the treaty after Russia developed prohibited weapons.
"Russia is solely responsible for the treaty's demise," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement released last week.
The U.S. has been asking Russia since 2013 to comply, he said, and President Donald Trump determined in early 2019 that Russia was in material breach of the treaty.
Russia predictably blamed the U.S. but the Pentagon has watched for years as Russia violated the terms of the treaty, The Associated Press reported.
China is reportedly making similar non-compliant weapons, leaving the U.S. alone in complying with the aging arms control pact.
Bob Maginnis, senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council, says the Obama administration was calling out Russia for failing to abide by the range restrictions in the treaty.
“We've found the Russians have been using platforms that have multiple thousands of miles capability,” he advises, “and they were limited to only 500 miles."
So what is left, Maginnis explains, is the larger Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, which expires in 2021.
“That has to involve the Chinese,” he tells OneNewsNow. “Our strategic command has made it clear that they've been doubling down on the production of nuclear weapons over the last decade. So these are issues of some gravity."
The INF treaty led to the destruction of 2,692 U.S. and Soviet-era nuclear and convenional ballistic and cruise missiles, the AP reported.