Expert: INF Treaty demise lays path for humanity’s unintentional self-annihilation

26.10.2018, Washington.

American studies expert Arystan Siraliyev spoke about possible consequences of the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in his interview to a Rossa Primavera News Agency correspondent on October 25.

The expert believes that the INF Treaty’s termination and subsequent return of intermediate-range missiles into the strategic offensive arsenal and the resulting modification of the “launch on warning” concept to take these missiles into account will make our world a significantly more dangerous place.

“The concept of mutually-assured destruction is known to be the cornerstone of the mutual nuclear deterrence strategy between Russia and the United States which is based on the principle of “launch on warning”, as the Russian president reminded recently. Taking this principle into play, both countries have long since created Ballistic Missile Early Warning Systems (BMEWS),” Siraliyev said.

The specialist in  U.S. history and politics then provided a number of clarifications, “BMEWS systems both in Russia and in the U.S. are not one hundred percent reliable. Both systems have a history of issuing false alarms. Fortunately for life on Earth,  sane officers on both sides, at least for now, have been able to prevent nuclear apocalypse by interpreting the information critically and by identifying the alarms as false. Previous cases had always given them enough time to make the right decision. They had as much time as it takes an intercontinental ballistic missile to reach the other continent: about thirty minutes.”

“The novelty and a unique danger, which lies in deploying short and medium range nuclear missiles following the Treaty’s termination, lies in the flight time of a U.S. missile launched from Eastern Europe to Moscow, or a hypothetical Russian missile launched from Latin America to reach Washington, which is approximately five minutes. This lead to a sharp decrease in the reaction time available for a new BMEWS false alarm. This leads to a sharp increase in the probability of humanity unintentionally annihilating itself,” the expert said.

The Soviet Union and the U.S. signed the INF Treaty in 1987, which was motivated, among other things, by these missiles’ extremely short flight time to their targets.

Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that the situation with the U.S. leaving the INF Treaty will cause “serious and may be even irreversible damage” to the global strategic security architecture.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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