To the editor: President Trump is making a monumental strategic mistake in unilaterally withdrawing the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This disintegration of the arms control regime is a dangerous pattern that started with President George W. Bush’s 2002 abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
Even the New START Treaty, negotiated by President Obama, was undermined by a few Senate Republicans’ insistence on billions in spending on new nuclear weapons, delivery systems and production facilities. While this “modernization” proceeds in haste, will New START be the next casualty of the Trump administration?
Ending the nuclear arms race and putting an end to the nuclear age need not be a partisan issue. After all, the freshly discarded INF Treaty was negotiated by President Reagan, who famously said, “Why wait until the end of the [20th] century for a world free of nuclear weapons?”
Trump has surrounded himself with dangerous advisors who, in defiance of Reagan’s vision, put humanity at risk by pursuing a perpetual nuclear arms race. It’s not too late to reverse this trend, but the clock is ticking.
Rick Wayman, Santa Barbara
The writer is deputy director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
To the editor: Just wondering, how do people who believe that Trump is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet explain this? What about the arming of Ukraine with lethal weaponry, issuing new sanctions against Russia, and attacking Putin’s client state Syria?
It’s actually not at all difficult to make the case that Trump has been tougher on Putin than former President Obama ever was.
Robert Chapman, Downey
To the editor: Our impulsive president has just exacerbated the danger of nuclear war by pulling out of the INF Treaty.
Instead of negotiating with Russia, Trump has provoked Putin into retaliating in kind. We can only hope that cooler heads will prevail.
Nuclear war is unthinkable. It will cause worldwide devastation. Putin professes an interest in negotiating, and I believe that it is urgent that we do so.
Ann Edelman, Woodland Hills