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The Real Trouble With Russia

Moscow Might Have Violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty -- Here's How to Respond

Russian servicemen take part in a military parade rehearsal in Red Square, November 5, 2012. Sergei Karpukhin / Courtesy Reuters

At the moment, Russia’s march on Crimea tops the United States’ list of issues with its onetime foe. But it is hardly the whole list. Rather, as The New York Times reported in January, Washington apparently believes that Moscow has also been busy violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a pact between the two banning the use of both nuclear and conventionally armed ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles within a certain range. This is no minor matter. When the treaty was signed in 1987, it was taken as a signal that the Cold War was finally thawing and, since then, it has been a been a defining element in U.S.-Russian relations, the United States and NATO’s deterrent posture, and the broader architecture of global arms control.

Despite this legacy, Russia has apparently developed a cruise missile designed to operate in the treaty’s prohibited range of 500

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