Having unilaterally destroyed the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (IRNFT) stipulating their total destruction under false pretexts in early August this year, Washington, which had been publicly recognizing it as an international security cornerstone for more than 30 years, provided a new double lie towards the Russian Federation and as regards its own military plans.
Before giving an explanation for this "new double lie", it should be recalled that the real reason for denouncing this agreement by the United States was not the "violation" by the Russian side, a fact that has yet to be actually and documentarily confirmed by the Pentagon and the US State Department. The reason was the ancient line to recreate in the American arsenal's nuclear weapons as represented by the two mentioned missile classes, but with brand new tactical and technical characteristics.
Six types of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles were developed for the US armed force since the INF had been signed. They were regularly tested as target missiles to check the efficiency of missile defense interceptors. Such tests started in October 1999 and lasted until August 2019, i.e. until the United States' unilateral withdrawal from the INF.
In total, the Pentagon used 117 medium-and shorter-range training missiles as interception targets during this period of time. This is borne out by official American sources – special press releases of the Defense Department's missile defense office and reports by the Congressional Research Service. Just to make it clear: the above indicators do not embrace training ballistic missiles of intercontinental range, i.e. of more than 5500 km, that were several times intercepted by the Pentagon's anti-missile "shield". Disregarded are also training missiles with a range less than 500 km and over, that were destroyed by attack-weapons means of the American ADMS Patriot.
The Russian Federation tested either intercontinental-range missiles or missiles with a range of less than 500 km, which was not prohibited by the 1987 treaty. In other words, Moscow has never exceeded its scope. For this reason, the INF non-compliance score is 117:0 in favor of the United States, not the Russian Federation.
So, what is Washington's present-day "new double lie" after its proactive denunciation of the INF?
Its first part is related to Moscow's proposal to make terms with Washington on a mutual moratorium on introducing new medium-and shorter-range missiles in territories where they are still not being deployed. In other words, the Russian side offers a formula for the mutual non-deployment of Russian and American medium-and shorter-range missiles in certain geographic areas.
Such a proposal would avert the parties' mutual deployment of ballistic and cruise missiles of the two mentioned classes, as long as their production and deployment is not limited to anything after August 2, 2019. But the US and NATO have repeatedly refused to implement such a fairly simple and understandable initiative by dint of the fact that Russia has allegedly deployed the 9M729 missile, which, according to Washington, is subject to the restrictions of the inoperative INF Treaty.
But neither before the collapse of the INF Treaty by American contractors, nor after such a rash step of theirs, has this missile been subject to restrictions of this Treaty, since its ultimate range accounts for 480 km, which is 20 km less than the range for determining short-range missiles under the 1987 Treaty. This was officially announced at a joint press conference of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in January this year. But the United States and NATO are still singing the same song over and over again: the 9M729 missile still does "violate the INF Treaty, which, thanks to Washington's purposeful "efforts" and with the massive moral and political support of NATO headquarters in Brussels, has sunk into oblivion.
The refusal to impose such a bilateral moratorium on the part of the United States and the Alliance implies the following: they intend to place medium-range missiles in Europe for instance, thus repeating NATO's "double decision" of 1979 to deploy Pershings and Tomahawks with nuclear warheads there.
The second new lie of the American side in connection with the INF Treaty is as follows: it keeps insisting that its missile defense interceptors that have already been put on full combat alert at the American operational missile defense base in Romania, cannot be replaced by intermediate-range Tomahawk-class cruise missiles of an offensive nature, because this allegedly requires readjusting software and conducting other engineering activities that would make it possible to replace defensive weapons with offensive ones.
But in reality, there is no need to drastically alter anything for such a replacement: universal missile defense system launchers like MK-41 can be easily equipped with not only interceptors, but also first-strike ground-based cruise missiles. Following Romania, a similar US missile defense system will appear late next year in the Polish territory near Redzikowo in the Slupsk region.
It is noteworthy that official Washington's "new lie number two" on the impossibility of deploying ground-based Tomahawk-class cruise missiles in Romania and Poland is refuted by representatives of the military-industrial complex and US defense experts, who argue that the American ground-based Aegis missile defense system can be easily rebuilt and modified under the deployment of Tomahawks, as revealed by an interview with the analytical Jane's Defense Weekly. This is evidenced by a relevant publication about the United States' developing a concept for the subsequent creation and deployment of intermediate-range missiles after the INF collapse (see Ashley Roque and Michael Fabey. "US proceeding with ground-launched intermediate-range missile concepts//Jane’s Defense Weekly. 2019, September 4. p.11).
It should be noted in this respect that residents of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, where universal MK-41 launchers of the ground-based Aegis system are planned to be deployed, as well as three or four new ballistic and cruise missiles of the United States (mostly medium-range) outside of them, are once again becoming hostage to America's offensive missile-nuclear policy, which breaks regional and global security and brings the process of arms control to a deadlock.