Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell spoke with WJLA (Washington, DC) about the United States’ potential withdrawal from the INF Treaty.
“There’s no doubt Russia is in violation and has been for some time now,” said Alexandra Bell, a former State Department arms control official. “It’s been a struggle getting them to first during the Obama administration admit the missile we were talking about even existed… They’re still denying the violation but at least we’re talking in concrete terms now.”
“Unfortunately, the U.S. and Russia have not met to discuss this in any way that would indicate a real drive to fix the problems with the treaty,” said Bell, now senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. “The Russians have accused us of violating the treaty. Those accusations don’t really hold water but they do represent a stumbling block.”
“Russia engaging in this sort of needlessly provocative behavior is not a good idea long-term,” Bell said, “but by withdrawing from this treaty…we’ve just made it easier for them to do this. They were taking great pains to hide this violation. I can’t believe our best option is to let them have a free hand.”
“The U.S. abandoning yet another international agreement is not going to be seen kindly by our allies and observers abroad,” Bell said. “We seem to be going out of our way to destroy an international order that was made in our own image.”
President Trump is planning a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the months ahead to discuss dismantling Kim’s nuclear weapons program. His administration is still attempting to pressure Iran into accepting new restrictions on its malign activities.
“Without a demonstration that we have done everything in our power to get the Russians back into compliance, there’s no reason to believe we wouldn’t find similar reasons to leave other agreements,” Bell said. Read more