Washington Free Beacon editor Matthew Continetti said Friday that when it comes to United States foreign policy relations with Russia and China, “Nuclear politics is back.”
Continetti’s comments came after the U.S. withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces arms control treaty with Russia on Friday.
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“This is a further evidence of the demise of the arms-control mentality,” Continetti said during a Friday panel on Fox News Channel’s Special Report. “If you go back to George W. Bush’s presidency, he withdrew us from the ABM treaty. Now we are out of the INF treaty. The next to go is probably the New Start treaty that was signed and ratified by the Senate under Barack Obama.”
Continetti added these withdrawals signal that “nuclear politics is back” in U.S. negotiations with foreign adversaries.
“We kind of thought it went away with the end of the Cold War,” Continetti said. “Because of the rise of China and because of Russia’s willingness to use the nuclear card in bullying its neighbors, we now have to think seriously not only about modernizing our nuclear forces but also anti-ballistic missile defense.”
The INF treaty limited development of ground-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Its dissolution has led many to fear a new arms race, CNN reports.
“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Friday statement announcing U.S. withdrawal from the treaty. “Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system.”
After pulling out of the treaty, the Pentagon will test new missiles that were forbidden under the treaty’s terms.