Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress [June 2, 2015]   [open pdf - 383KB]

From the summary: "The United States and Soviet Union signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in December 1987. Negotiations on this treaty were the result of a 'dual-track' decision taken by NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] in 1979. At that time, in response to concerns about the Soviet Union's deployment of new intermediate-range nuclear missiles, NATO agreed both to accept deployment of new U.S. intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles and to support U.S. efforts to negotiate with the Soviet Union to limit these missiles. In the INF Treaty, the United States and Soviet Union agreed that they would ban all land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. The ban would apply to missiles with nuclear or conventional warheads, but would not apply to sea-based or air-delivered missiles. […] The United States could also consider a number of options for how it might respond if Russia withdraws from the INF Treaty and deploys new INF-range missiles. It could develop and deploy new military capabilities--including, possibly, new land-based INF-range missiles or new missile defense capabilities--to offset the threat posed by new Russian INF-range missiles. The United States could also take other steps with its allies to assure them of the U.S. commitment to their defense. Congress is likely to continue to conduct oversight hearings on this issue, and to receive briefings on the status of Russia's cruise missile program. It may also consider legislation authorizing U.S. military responses and supporting alternative diplomatic approaches."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43832
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