World War 3: How INF Treaty prevented US from being completely obliterated | World | News


Today, Donald Trump formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) following a six-month leaving process imposed on February 1 this year. The treaty banned either nation possessing missiles with range capabilities between 310 and 3,400 miles. Washington threatened to leave after accusing Russia of violating the terms by deploying a new type of cruise weapon – the 9M729 missile – known to NATO as SSC-8.

However, Vladimir Putin refutes claims over its ability and signed a bill to also suspend Moscow’s participation.

The INF Treaty dates back to 1987, when US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to ease the bitter Cold War tensions that had persisted for decades.

It most-likely saved the US from being completely obliterated, too.

The Eighties was arguably one of the closest the world had ever come to World War 3, as the two global superpowers tussled for superiority on all fronts.

Double agents had infiltrated both the top-ranks of the KGB and the CIA, creating a sense of paranoia among government officials.

By May 1981, these fears had reached an all-time high as senior KGB officers and Soviet leaders General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and KGB chairman Yuri Andropov bluntly announced that the US was preparing a secret nuclear attack on the USSR.

Andropov announced the KGB would begin Operation RYaN (Nuclear Missile Attack) – the largest, most comprehensive intelligence operation in Soviet history.

Consequently, mass paranoia set in among Soviet leaders regarding the US plans, as memories of Nazi Germany’s surprise invasion of the USSR still haunted them.

These fears were not helped by the actions and rhetoric of Reagan.

He announced a new medium-range nuclear missile to be introduced into Europe – the Pershing II – which could reach the Soviet Union from West Germany in six minutes.

He would also go on to dub the USSR an “evil empire” sparking fury in the Kremlin.

Several false nuclear alarms were raised on both sides over nuclear missile launches in 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1985 – to name just a few.

These occurred for various reasons, including individual incompetence, training exercises, faulty computers and blocked sensors.

On November 21, 1985, Reagan and Gorbachev met for the first time at a summit in Geneva, Switzerland and agreed to three more meetings to cool tensions.

The pair noted they were playing with fire, and were just one more computer mistake away from obliterating each other.

Both men knew the severity of the situation and understood that Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) meant neither of them would come out of a nuclear attack well.

This doctrine of military strategy promises the full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and defender.

Two years later, on December 8, the INF Treaty was signed.

Today’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty threatens to plunge the world back into a new arms race, something several congressmen have predicted.

Senator Bob Menendez said yesterday: “The withdrawal without a follow-on is the invitation for an arms race.

“And Russia will clearly spend money on updating and amplifying its weapons systems.

“And the last thing we need is another arms race. So I’m hoping there can be some effort to move us in the right direction.”

Their fears will be compounded with military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer’s warning that Russia will use the situation to deploy new weapons.

He added: “Now that the treaty is over, we will see the development and deployment of new weapons.

“Russia is already ready.”

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