The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) and Ploughshares Fund are pleased to invite you to the fifth and final in a debate series on a range of nuclear challenges and policy decisions the Trump administration will face in 2017. The debate series aims to provide a forum for in-depth exploration of arguments on both sides of key nuclear policy issues.

Debate question:

  • Resolved: The United States should respond to Russia’s INF violations by developing and deploying additional nuclear capabilities and refusing to negotiate any further arms control agreements until Russia complies with Treaty.

Since 2014, the United States has claimed that the Russians have violated terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which eliminated U.S. and Soviet “ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, their launchers and associated support structures and support equipment.” Russia denies the accusations. Recently introduced legislation in Congress would take steps toward U.S. withdrawal from the treaty in response to Russian violations, and one Trump administration official has stated, “We need to do more to ensure … that Russia doesn’t obtain a military advantage from its violation.” Some argue that the United States must stand strong against new Russian deployments by stepping away from the agreement. Others believe that leaving the agreement would start a new arms race and could undo much of the framework underlying international arms control. Our debaters will discuss whether it would be possible to move ahead with negotiations on the New START agreement, due to expire in February 2021, while the Russians remain in violation the INF Treaty.

Featuring:

  • Thomas Countryman, Former Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
  • Alexandra Bell, Senior Policy Director, The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
  • Franklin C. Miller, Principal, The Scowcroft Group
  • Rebeccah L. Heinrichs, Senior Fellow, The Hudson Institute