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Future of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

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On July 17, 2014, Jim Thomas testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces on the Future of the INF Treaty.

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Suspected Russian violations of the INF Treaty come at a time of great strategic uncertainty for the United States globally. While compliance issues must be swiftly addressed, the United States should also widen the aperture for evaluating the INF Treaty to ensure that it serves its broader, global interests and security commitments. A treaty that bars two countries from pursuing certain militarily desirable classes of missiles, while providing no protection against other states–some of which pose threats towards the United States and its allies–doing the same, must be constantly re-evaluated to determine the tipping point when the costs of arms control overtake the benefits. That day is quickly approaching. Now is the time to begin contemplating a world beyond the INF Treaty and taking appropriate precautionary steps. Paradoxically, doing so may offer the best course to preserving the viability of the treaty farther into the future.

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