U.S. President Ronald Reagan, right, and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev exchange pens during the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signing ceremony in the White House on December 8, 1987. (Bob Daugherty/AP Photo/ file)

Nuclear arms race feared after U.S. threat to quit treaty

On Oct. 20, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and that has rekindled fears there will be a world-wide nuclear arms race.

Trump says Russia is not complying with the INF and China is not a signatory. So, he says it makes no sense for the U.S. to be constrained from developing nuclear weapons while the others are not. And if Washington pulls out of the INF, there are fears that other efforts to limit nuclear weapons will fail and countries will feel unconstrained.

‘A nuclear jungle’

“We’re entering a nuclear jungle and probably the only thing that’s preventing us from global proliferation is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which was actually negotiated in 1968,” says Erika Simpson, professor of international relations at Western University. “But they have…review conferences every five years at the UN. The problem is that the next one is in 2020. So, the UN had suggested we have a global disarmament conference. That was supposed to happen in April and they cancelled it at the last minute…

“The widespread concern is that we’ll have multiple proliferation with more and more and more nuclear powers around the world.”

A Pakistani-made Shaheen-III missile, that is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, is on display during a military parade in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 23, 2018. Observers are concerned Pakistan and India are two of the countries that may step up the development of nuclear weapons. (Anjum Naveed/AP Photo/file)

(photo Western University)

Prof. Erika Simpson says if the U.S. pulls out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty it could trigger a world-wide build-up of nuclear arms.

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