Evidence Mounts of Widespread Violation of Arms Agreements
By Harold Hutchison
While the United States has been complying with various arms control treaties, and pushing for new ones, Russia has engaged in widespread cheating – including covertly retaining a number of intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz, the Russian cheating has been blatant and widespread, including tests of one missile, the RS-26, a variant of the SS-25 mobile ICBM, at ranges prohibited under the 1987 INF Treaty, while the Russians may be introducing a version of the SS-26 Stone (the 9K720 Iskander) with a range of over 500 kilometers. Russia also has been covertly retaining Skorost IRBMs, which have a range of 4,000 kilometers.
The INF Treaty prohibits deployment of land-based systems with ranges between 500 and 5,000 kilometers. In accordance with the treaty, the United States discarded BGM-109G Gryphon cruise missiles and MGM-31 Pershing missiles.
“The Russians have basically violated every major treaty they’ve ever entered into, certainly every major weapons treaty,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in remarks to a Heritage Foundation seminar. Rubio noted that Obama has apparently allowed the violations to slide in order to continue having talks.
“I think that’s a very dangerous worldview,” Rubio said. Other experts have also voiced concerns over the implications of widespread Russian violations.