President Donald Trump’s stunning decision to withdraw from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty is catching Washington, D.C. off guard.
Jamie McIntyre, a columnist for the Washington Examiner, said the decision could be very good or very bad.
The treaty withdrawal “is either the beginning of the end of arms control regimes that have helped maintain world peace,” McIntyre wrote, “or a bold move that may usher in a new age of multilateral agreements that don’t disadvantage the United States while allowing Russia to cheat with impunity. The debate splits almost entirely along partisan lines.”
According to McIntyre, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly believes “the official notification of withdrawal means that six months from now, the U.S. will no longer be a party to the agreement unless Russia changes its ways, noting that the U.S. may ‘reconsider our withdrawal should Russia return to full compliance with the treaty.'”
“Make no mistake: Russia alone bears responsibility for these developments, and for the continued erosion of the arms control architecture,” Pompeo said directly. “We remain committed to effective arms control that advances U.S., Ally, and partner security, that is verifiable and enforceable, and that includes partners that comply responsibly with their obligations.”
The Pentagon issued a separate statement that further defended the treaty withdrawal, as McIntyre noted:
The Open Skies Treaty was designed decades ago to increase transparency, cooperation, and mutual understanding. Instead, Russia has increasingly used the Treaty to support propaganda narratives in an attempt to justify Russian aggression against its neighbors and may use it for military targeting against the United States and our Allies.
To read more from Washington Examiner about Trump administration’s withdrawal from the treaty, click here.