After raising the Defense budget to near record levels, the Trump administration is now looking for ways to funnel even more money to the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower so presciently warned about back in the 1950’s.
The signs of this behind the scenes maneuvering are demonstrated by the news reported in The New York Times that the United States will be withdrawing from a crucial arms control treaty next week.
National security adviser John Bolton is reportedly planning to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. will no longer be a party to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which was first negotiated in 1986 by then-President Ronald Reagan and the still-intact Soviet Union’s leader at the time Mikhail Gorbachev.
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The weapons ban — signed in Washington in December 1987 by both men — resulted in the destruction of 2,692 missiles. Washington demolished 846, and Moscow 1,846, according to The Times.
The stated excuse for the withdrawal from the treaty is the fact that China, who is not a signatory to the arms pact, is developing such weapons and that Russia has been in violation of its terms since at least 2014 with its development of the SSC-8 land-based cruise missile.
Leaving the constraints of the arms control deal is likely to spark an escalation in the development of new nuclear arms and their accompanying delivery vehicles, destroying decades of efforts to eliminate the threat of nuclear war and consequent global destruction.
“The collapse of the treaty would likely open up a missile race in Europe and elsewhere,” said Hans M. Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, a private group in Washington, according to The Times. “It would signal a new phase where countries would compete to deploy and counterdeploy weapons.”
The start of a new arms race at a time when the Republican tax cuts for the billionaire class have pushed the U.S. government deficits to record heights means that your tax dollars will be increasingly spent on weapons of war rather than on much-needed social services.
You can expect that another campaign of fear-mongering, at least equal to the constant flow of anti-immigrant propaganda shoved down our throats by the Trump administration, will be launched to try to frighten the U.S. populace into supporting the arms buildup while undermining voters’ own health and welfare through cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
While the US would need time to develop new weapons in this category, military analysts expect that the Department of Defense would initially modify existing non-nuclear missiles to handle atomic payloads and deploy them in Asia to counter China’s military buildup in the South China Sea.
If this regressive militarism is not something that you support, it is even more crucial than ever to vote for the Democratic candidate in your locale in the upcoming midterm elections. It is the only way that President Trump and his Republican cronies’ misguided policies can be stopped, by a Democratic-controlled Congress that is willing and able to stand up to Trump.
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