INF Treaty has been one of the major missile control treaty between Washington and Moscow which also has significant contribution to end the cold war. Analyse the pros and cons of United Nations withdrawal from INF Treaty.

Mentor’s Comment: Introduce about INF and explain how it helped in managing the tensions in cold war era. Also recent US move.

You can mention benefits of the treaty and recent reasons of US withdrawal in limited words to bring clarity in answer. However if words do not permit, one can avoid this part. Though this is a significant part in bringing clarity.

As cons, Withdrawal means terminating the treaty as only two countries are involved. So such move will give individual players free hand in developing and deploying nuclear warheads.

For pros, Mention if US withdraw it will begin arms race in world. It will also undermine the other treaties.

Conclude in balance way giving diplomatic points. 

Model Answer:


  • The United States and the Soviet Union signed the INF Treaty in 1987, officially banning the possession, production, or flight-testing of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
  • For much of the post-Cold War period, the INF Treaty, along with Russian political acquiescence and general military weakness, helped add sense stability and some transparency to the U.S.-Russia relationship.
  • However, the recent announcement by the White House to terminate itself from INF Treaty is an unnecessary and self defeating wrong turn which is highly concerning.

Consequences of Treaty:

  • During Ronald Reagan era this treaty banned an entire class of destabilizing U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons that were deployed in Europe.
  • Since 1987 the treaty marked first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification.
  • The treaty led to the verified destruction of 2,692 short, medium, and intermediate-range missiles, nuclear-armed of both the countries U.S. and Russia.
  • Under the treaty both nations were allowed to inspect each other’s military installations. Each nation was permitted to render inoperative and retain 15 missiles, 15 launch canisters and 15 launchers for static display.

Reasons given by US for withdrawal:

  • US mentioned at a campaign rally that the reason for the pullout was because Russia has been violating the treaty for many years.
  • Both countries allege the other has violated the treaty. The US accused Russia of violating treaty terms by testing the SSC-8 cruise missile in 2008. The accusation was brought up again in 2014 and 2017.
  • It was also reported that the United States’ need to counter a Chinese arms buildup in the Pacific was another reason for their move to withdraw, because China is not a signatory to the treaty.
  • The vulnerability of American military presence in the Pacific to Chinese missiles, in turn, undermines the credibility of American security commitment to its Asian allies.

Pros of US withdrawal:

  • There is not much global gain of US withdrawal from the treaty. Withdrawal from the treaty will provide the individual players to develop and deploy new kind of armament.
  • The INF treaty helped address the fears of an imminent nuclear war in Europe.
  • It also built some trust between Washington and Moscow and contributed to the end of the Cold War.
  • Russia can develop missiles to counter US bases capable of launching Tomahawk Missiles in Poland and Romania. Russia can also prevent US from using armed UAVs such as the MQ-9 Reaper.
  • US willingly want to develop and procure missile and withdrawal from the treaty will set US free from obligations of INF. US can also counter Chinese arms building in Pacific regions.

Cons of US withdrawal:

  • If the treaty unravels, it will open the door to an arms race in production and deployment of these missiles, which would weaken security in Europe and Asia.
  • The choice between “arms control” and “arms racing” is not binary – as if those were the only two options. The United States may very well decide that producing a GLCM to be stationed in Europe will be too politically complicated and instead shift to a mixture of penetrating bombers and sea-based assets.
  • The INF Treaty is fundamental to European security. If the treaty collapses, it would further weaken trust between the West and Russia and undermine the entire regime of nuclear arms control between the United States and Russia. This would have unpredictable strategic and political consequences for West-Russia relations.
  • The collapse of the INF Treaty would undermine support for other arms control treaties, such as the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and make it difficult to reach new accords.

Effects on India:

  • India has an effort underway on hypersonic missiles — part indigenous and part in collaboration with Russia to build on the supersonic Brahmos missiles that travel more than twice as fast as sound.
  • As the US conflict with Russia deepens, Delhi’s partnership with Moscow on advanced military systems will come under increasing scrutiny and pressure
  • Russia’s tightening military embrace with China also casts a shadow over defence ties between Delhi and Moscow.
  • Delhi, then, will have to think long and hard about its missile programme by focusing on the urgent need to ramp up the domestic effort as well as diversify its international collaboration on hypersonic weapons.


  • In the words of Reagan, it is the only way to deal with the Soviet Union on arms control to return to first principles, strength and realism.
  • The need is that both the countries should persuade China to join the treaty and should re-negotiate the terms in fresh manner. However, this seems to be impossible as China has already rejected the proposition.
  • However, the world leader should also try under the mediation of World level organizations to compel each and every nation to adopt the peaceful means and come under the treaty. This is a matter of long discussion and debate and only the will of sustainable development among all can better manage the situation.
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4 years ago

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Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  Imgroot

Hello Imgroot…
-Good introduction and points are well covered…
-However, under reason for US withdrawal…China’s presence in Pacific Ocean is also the main one as China is not the signatory of the treaty….
-Need to add few more points in Conclusion…in elaborate form…
The rest of the ideas and points are very good…
Overall its a very good answer….Nice approach…
Keep writing…
Marks awarded: 5.5/10

4 years ago

CDTEST 20378comment imagecomment image

Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  Invincible

Hello Invincible…
-Introduction is very poor…talk about the treaty, its reason, and consequences at that time in intro itself…
-Your answer does not mention why US wants to withdraw…
-Under pros…only one point that too very general…
-Under cons…Their is no justification to the points presented…here too the points are very general…
-Conclusion too is poor…
You need to have more conceptual clarity…need to bring more specificity…
Overall, this answer is an below average one….though few ideas are present…keep practicing…will improve….
Keep writing…