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US Senator Confident Some NATO States Will Agree to Host New American Missiles

© AFP 2021 / Petras MalukasUS soldiers take part in the Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), a NATO maritime-focused military multinational exercise in Lithuania
US soldiers take part in the Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), a NATO maritime-focused military multinational exercise in Lithuania - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senator Tom Cotton said Wednesday that he is confident European countries will host new American missiles after Washington’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

"I'm confident that we will find reliable NATO allies who are eager to host new American missile forces," Cotton said during remarks at the Heritage Foundation.

The senator stated that the United States must rapidly develop the weapons necessary to overcome the alleged strategic imbalance with China and Russia. He stressed that US missiles in Europe would serve as a deterrent against Russia.

Missiles, SS-23 Destroyed. The 957th and last of the Soviet Union's SS-23 shorter range missiles - Sputnik International
Former UN Arms Inspector: Europe as Much to Blame for Demise of INF Treaty as US
On February 2, the United States formally suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty and triggered a six-month withdrawal process. Washington has said it would terminate this procedure if Russia agreed to remain compliant with the accord.

READ MORE: US to Test Ground-Launched Cruise Missile Systems Once Banned by INF Treaty

The move comes in line with Trump's stance voiced earlier in October: the US president announced his country’s intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty over Russia's alleged violations of the agreement. Moscow has refuted the accusations, adding that Washington itself had violated the deal.

READ MORE: Russia, US Could Maintain Legal INF Status Even After Treaty Ends — Scholar

Russia has also suspended its participation in the INF Treaty, with Russian President Vladimir Putin having instructed the country's authorities not to initiate any new talks with Washington on the matter. Putin has, however, emphasized that all of Russia's earlier proposals remained on the table.

New START Treaty Should Only be Extended If It Includes China

The senator has further spoken about the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), saying that the United States must look into where to deploy intermediate-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific region in order to best counter China.

"We must also determine where in the Indo-Pacific region to base conventional INF-range missiles," Cotton said, in reference to weapons that comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

US President Donald Trump before the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires (File photo). - Sputnik International
Trump Administration Interested in Extending New START Treaty - Undersecretary
Cotton noted that Guam may be an immediate location to consider but it will not be enough for long term strategy. The United States must consult with allies in the region about deploying medium-range missiles on their territory as part of a plan to counter China, he added.

READ MORE: US Manipulated Figures to Seem to Comply With New START Treaty — Moscow

As he explained, the United States must match its existing missiles with mobile ground-launchers such as land-based cruise missiles, but it should also produce new mobile ground-launched cruise missiles.

Cotton has also accused China of stockpiling thousands of missiles capable of striking US allies, bases, ships and citizens in the Indo-Pacific region. As he claimed, Beijing aims to dominate the region strategically to prevent the United States from operating in the area.

READ MORE: Moscow Does Not Want New START Treaty to Have JCPOA's Fate — Russian Envoy

In conclusion, the senator emphasised that the START treaty should not be extended unless the agreement is expanded to include China.

"A very simple principle of the New START deliberation should be no New START extension without China," Cotton said. "We have a lot of arms control agreements that focus just on the United Stats and Russia because those were the two superpowers in the Cold War."

Cotton conceded, however, that China was unlikely to enter an agreement similar to the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

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