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‘Provocative’ post-INF missile test serves US neocon goal to stop détente with Russia

‘Provocative’ post-INF missile test serves US neocon goal to stop détente with Russia
The decision by the United States to test a cruise missile banned under the now-expired INF treaty was a provocative move that delights neocons who oppose rapprochement between the US and Russia, analysts told RT.

Less than a month after pulling out of the INF arms control treaty, the US military tested a ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missile previously prohibited under the agreement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Moscow would “take exhaustive measures to prepare a symmetrical response” to the test, while stressing that it is not aiming to ignite a new arms race.

Also on rt.com Putin orders ‘symmetrical’ response to US missile test, says Washington worked to breach INF

But the end of the INF (the second Cold War-era treaty torn up by Washington, after the US left the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty in 2002) sets the stage for a dangerous new era of nuclear confrontation, geopolitical expert Javed Rana lamented.

Rana predicts the emergence of a new arms race in the coming months and years, involving “dangerous, unconventional weapons” that could devastate the world as we know it.

The use of these weapons could destroy the entire world. Nuclear war in any part of the world means nuclear war everywhere in the world.

Describing the US as a “dying superpower,” Rana suggested that Washington’s decision to pursue such a potentially catastrophic policy could have been motivated by fears of economic and military decline. Even if cooler heads prevail, the test represents yet another setback to the possibility of détente between the US and Russia, journalist Neil Clark argued.

Of course this is a very provocative move, just three weeks after pulling out of the INF, to test these new missiles… You can only assume that the neocons are happy with what’s happening. They don’t want rapprochement with Russia.

He predicted that the missile launch would send US-Russia relations in the “opposite direction” of dialogue and arms control. In the months leading up to the INF’s expiration, the US accused Russia – without providing evidence – of developing weapons prohibited under the agreement.

Clark said he wasn’t surprised by the efforts to blame Moscow for the treaty’s demise – even though it was the US which declined to preserve the accord.

“It’s good PR, if you want to get out of the treaty, to accuse the other side of breaching it... They couldn’t just come out and say ‘look, we’re going to break this treaty,’” he noted.

Also on rt.com US tests cruise missile BANNED by expired INF treaty

The British journalist warned that the US’ actions would ratchet up already-worrying tensions between the US and its geopolitical rivals around the world.

“We’ve got tensions with Iran, tensions with this Chinese situation, tensions with Venezuela, and of course now as well, increased tensions with Russia.

“So it would be wrong of me to come here and say that this isn’t a very dangerous position we’re in at the moment,” Clark said.

Rana was equally concerned about the global consequences of the INF’s demise, predicting it would have a “trickle-down effect” that would stoke tensions between all adversarial nuclear powers.

He cited the standoff between India and Pakistan, as well as the situation in North Korea, as geopolitical hot spots that would likely become more dangerous as a result of Washington’s move.

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