The US has long dismissed Russian concerns over the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system on European soil. This week’s test of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor against an ICBM has proven Russian concerns correct.
Deploying hypersonic missiles to Europe and Asia will deter Russia and China and strengthen Washington’s hand in arms control talks, says National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. Trouble is, the US doesn’t have such missiles yet.
The sole remaining US-Russia nuclear arms control deal may get a last-moment extension after all, but everything now depends on what the US State Department means when it says warhead caps need to be “verifiable.”
Putin intervened to state clearly and directly that a one-year extension of the New START treaty was the only option. The White House declined, setting the stage for a new arms race should Trump win in November.
Extending the New START treaty until a new arms control agreement can be negotiated is in the best interest of world peace. President Trump, however, seems ready to sacrifice that security for a few points in pre-election ratings.