It took lots of time and effort for the US leadership and the USSR to strike the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987, however, US President Donald Trump can rip it up at his whim, Jan R. Weinberg, an American peace activist and founder of "Show Up! America," an independent organization to educate and promote civic engagement, told Sputnik.
"My concern, which should concern all of us — is the United State to be trusted if one irate individual, such as Donald Trump, can summarily withdraw from the covenants of an arms treaty? I am astounded by my naïveté not knowing that a president actually can withdraw the US from an arms control treaty without the consent of the Senate. In my opinion, the United States Senate has abdicated their constitutionally ascribed responsibilities related to foreign affairs trade and militarization issues," the peace activist pointed out.
Weinberg quoted his anonymous source in the US Senate on the matter: "Yes. The Constitution only gives the Senate power to ratify treaties and not authority of withdrawal. Each treaty has its own provisions and procedures for withdrawing," the source said.
As for the INF Treaty, the Senate source explained that "each party has the right to withdraw if it decides that extraordinary events have jeopardized its supreme interests."
Article 15 of the agreement states: "Each Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests. It shall give notice of its decision to withdraw to the other Party six months prior to withdrawal from this Treaty. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events the notifying Party regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests."
"Given there is bipartisan backlash to Trump suggesting a withdrawal, Congress could vote on a resolution related to INF but that would be symbolic and not binding," the source told Weinberg.
On the eve of Trump's pullout from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, Russell Dana Feingold, an American lawyer and politician, noted in an op-ed for NBC News, that "due to decades of executive aggrandizement and congressional acquiescence — coupled with judicial timidity — the ability to unilaterally withdraw the United States from every last treaty the Senate has ever ratified has been left solely in the hands of President Donald Trump."
Revamping of US Nuclear Arsenal Began Under Obama
According to Weinberg, Donald Trump's intention to unilaterally withdraw from the deal, voiced by the US president on October 20, is adding to the concerns about "the revamping of the entire United States nuclear arsenal" which began under the Obama administration.
Furthermore, "it should not escape scrutiny that Secretary of Defense General (ret.) James Mattis had to resign from a board position with General Dynamics, an armament industry corporation that manufactures nuclear weapons," Weinberg pointed out. Indeed, Mattis is one of those who endorse Trump's decision to quit the historic treaty.
"The Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex is gung-ho, full steam ahead with funding, developing, manufacturing, selling and deploying new lethal weapon systems — because it's good for the economy, it's good for jobs, it's good for votes — that in their feeble minds they do not imagine that the weapons once put to use will cause a chain of events that will destroy the world," the peace activist underscored.
'End US Wars at Home and Abroad'
He noted that besides, on November 11, Veterans For Peace are due to hold an event entitled "Reclaiming Armistice Day" commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, rebranded later as Veterans Day by the US Congress. "Veterans For Peace has taken the lead in lifting up the original intention of November 11th — as a day for peace," the organization's official website says.
"We must end all US wars at home and abroad," Weinberg underscored. "Peace is not just the cessation of violence; it is putting in place assurance of freedom, justice, security and prosperity. Only by working together will be overcome the detrimental effects of imposed servitude class structure, the effects of environmental degradation, the abuse of police state powers, the shame that our government perpetuates continuous and expansive imperial wars — all for the profits of the investor class."
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