US, NATO Follow Russia in Dropping Out of Europe Arms Treaty

Voice of America News reports: “Washington and NATO allies said Tuesday they will echo Russia’s suspension of a Cold War treaty to limit conventional arms proliferation in Europe, with the White House saying it had ‘no option’ but to leave.

Nonproliferation advocates said this won’t make a huge impact on the battlefield.

Suspending the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) ‘will strengthen the [NATO] Alliance’s deterrence and defense capacity by removing restrictions that impact planning, deployments, and exercises — restrictions that no longer bind Russia after Moscow’s withdrawal,’ national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

The 1990 treaty was designed to prevent either side of the post-Cold War power structure — at the time, NATO and the former Soviet Warsaw Pact — from being able to amass forces for a flash offensive.

It also set equal limits on the number of tanks, armored combat vehicles, heavy artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters it applied in the territory between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains…”

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