Stop or Deadlock? The U.S. Elites about the INF Crisis

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-3-20-28
Y. Golub (,
Saratov State University, 83, Astrakhanskaya Str., Saratov, 410012, Russian Federation;
S. Shenin (,
Saratov State University, 83, Astrakhanskaya Str., Saratov, 410012, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article is devoted to the analysis of the perception in the U.S. of the Trump administration’s policy in relation to arms control in general and the INF Treaty in particular on the eve of the withdrawal from it. In the context of the evolution and basic components of this policy, the authors study the attitudes of the most active and influential groups of the ruling elite (neoliberals, realists and conservatives) to it. The short-term program of the neoliberals from the Democratic Party included the preservation of the INF or withdrawal from it “without loss of face”. In the midterm, they proposed to conclude new multilateral treaties on short- and medium-range missiles with the participation of Russia and extend the New START treaty. They expected that under pressure from the West, Moscow will join this plan. The realist wing of the Republicans advocated the preserving of the existing version of the INF using not only pressure, but also concessions to Moscow in the security sphere. After that, Russia and the U.S. should jointly force China to sign a separate agreement on short- and medium-range missiles. Considering China as the main strategic threat, the conservatives from the Republican party saw in the behavior of Russia on the issue of medium- and short-range missiles a compelling reason to withdraw from the INF and New Start. After that, the conservatives proposed to initiate a dialogue with Moscow on modernization the INF, including new missile technologies and integration of China in it. Despite these differences in views, Trump’s administration expects that after the withdrawal from the INF in August 2019, the interest groups will come to a consensus on a new intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles program that would involve China with support of Russia. Otherwise, the prolongation of the New START, and therefore the modernization of the nuclear triad, will be put at risk. Such a development of events may cause another conflict within the American establishment and become an additional battleground for U.S. presidential candidates in 2020.

Keywords: INF Treaty, New START, arms control, United States, Russia, China, neoliberals, realists, conservatives


1. Kuhn U., Peczeli A. Russia, NATO, and the INF Treaty. February 28, 2017. Available at: (accessed 14.04.2019).

2. Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments. U.S. Department of State. July, 2014. Available at: (accessed 25.12.2019).

3. INF Diplomacy Highlights Timeline. U. S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia. November 16, 2018. Available at: (accessed 25.12. 2019).

4. Cheating and the Administration’s Responses. U. S. Congress. House Hearing, 113 Congress. December 10, 2014. Available at: (accessed 15.04.2019).

5. Gramer R., Seligman L. The INF Treaty Is Dead. Is New START Next? February 1, 2019. Available at: (accessed 19.04.2019).

6. Dodge M. The Trump Administration’s Nuclear Weapons Policy: First Steps. November 30, 2016. Available at: (accessed 28.04.2019).

7. Trump Administration INF Treaty Integrated Strategy. U. S. Department of State. Press Statement. December 8, 2017.

Available at: (accessed 14.04.2019).

8. Pifer S. The Blame Game Begins over the INF Treaty’s Demise, and Washington is Losing. January 25, 2019. Available at: (accessed 12.04.2019).

9. O’Hanlon M. Exiting Reagan’s Historic INF Treaty is a Bad Idea. Here’s How Trump should Try to Fix It. October 25, 2018. Available at: (accessed 28.04. 2019).

10. Pifer S. The Trump Administration and Nuclear Arms Control Treaties. December 2, 2016. Available at: (19.04.2019).

11. Rose F. The End of an Era? The INF Treaty, New START, and the Future of Strategic Stability. February 12, 2019. Available at: (accessed 28.04.2019).

12. Tennis M., Talbott S. Another Arms Race? No and Nyet. February 20, 2018. Available at: (accessed 11.04.2019).

13. Pifer S. What should Obama do about Russia and the INF Treaty? Channel Reagan. July 30, 2014. Available at: (accessed 19.04.2019).

14. Bash J., Simakovsky M. Four Perfectly Trump Reasons Why He Wants Out of the INF Treaty. October 29, 2018. Available at: (accessed 24.04.2019).

15. Arms Race Ahead? Everything You Need to Know about the Nuclear Treaty Trump Wants to Ditch. November 15, 2018. Available at: (accessed 25.12.2019).

16. Ward A. Trump May Soon Kill a US-Russia Arms Control Deal. It Might Be a Good Idea. October 22, 2018. Available at: (accessed 09.04.2019).

17. Kearn D. Facing the Missile Challenge. U. S. Strategy and the Future of the INF Treaty. Available at: (accessed 03.04.2019).

18. Dodge M. Russian Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces: What They Mean for the United States. July 30, 2015. Available at: (accessed 19.04.2019).

19. Brookes P. Trump Right to Consider Pulling Out of INF Treaty. October 23, 2018. Available at: (accessed 23.04.2019).

20. Callender T. The Way Forward for the United States in a Post-INF World. February 1, 2019. Available at: (accessed 19.04.2019).

21. Thiessen M. The Real Reason behind Trump’s Nuclear Treaty Withdrawal isn’t Russia. It’s North Korea. October 25, 2018. Available at: (accessed 18.04.2019).

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Golub Y., Shenin S. Stop or Deadlock? The U.S. Elites about the INF Crisis. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 20-28.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 5
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Are There Any Ways to Break Through the Korean Nuclear Impasse?
  • Contemporary U.S. Taiwan Policy: Balancing on the Edge
  • The Gulf Monarchies’ Vision of the Global Order Transformations and the Russian Place in It
  • At Post-Soviet Space
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.