The Trump administration announced on Feb. 1 that the United States will opt out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and shortly after Russia said that they would do the same, which will surely result in an arms race between China, Russia and the United States.
What exactly is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty?
The I.N.F Treaty, according to the Arms Control Association, is a treaty between the United States and what was then the Soviet Union to “eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.”
First, let’s make it clear that Russia is in the wrong and has been in the wrong since 2014 during the Obama administration.
Now, Obama handled the situation differently — he merely sent a letter to Putin telling him that he’s in violation of the treaty.
Trump’s administration, on the other hand, decided to pull out of the treaty, Trump said: “we will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.”
What does this mean for the United States, and why does China matter?
China has been expanding their military capabilities because they are not bound by the treaty.
Trump even warned Russia that China was more than likely using the treaty to expand their own powers while Russia and the United States forestall their growth.
Now that Russia and the United States are out of the treaty they can expand their nuclear powers as they see fit, and that’s exactly what will happen.
China will continue to grow and will want to expand its powers more and more and Russia and the United States are going to want to do the same, and without the treaty, they will have every reason to.
So, what will this mean for the average person in the United States?
Well, military spending will certainly be increased, so hoping your taxes go to universal healthcare is a waste of hope.
It also means your vote has to be cast very carefully during the 2020 presidential election.
You do not want a president who will refuse to participate in the impending arms race between three of the greatest powers in history.
If you vote for somebody who says they’ll cut military spending, you’ll end up voting for the candidate that will allow the U.S. to fall behind and possibly fall prey to China and or Russia.
“But what about Norway and Denmark? They have universal healthcare! I want universal healthcare!” Some of you may be saying, and to you I reply
“What about them and their healthcare?”
Norway and Denmark have a very small presence in the international scene and it’s because they lack military capabilities.
If the U.S were to poke at either of the two countries they wouldn’t be able to do anything because of spending going towards the people in the nation than to the strength of the nation.
Vote wisely this upcoming election.
Military spending cannot be cut, or the U.S. will not survive.
Jermelle MacLeod is a freshman studying philosophy.