Trump has withdrawn from the Open Skies Treaty, which allowed a number of countries, most notably the US and Russia, conduct unarmed surveillance flights over each other’s territory.
This is a truly stupid move, but it fits with the philosophy of many within the US foreign policy establishment, particularly on the right, that any agreement that is truly reciprocal is not for the US:
President Trump has decided to withdraw from another major arms control accord, he and other officials said Thursday, and will inform Russia that the United States is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, negotiated three decades ago to allow nations to fly over each other’s territory with elaborate sensor equipment to assure that they are not preparing for military action.
Mr. Trump’s decision may be viewed as more evidence that he is preparing to exit the one major arms treaty remaining with Russia: New START, which limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed nuclear missiles [The reporter got this wrong, the limit is nuclear warheads, and not nuclear missiles] each. It expires in February, weeks after the next presidential inauguration, and Mr. Trump has insisted that China must join what is now a U.S.-Russia limit on nuclear arsenals.
Considering the fact that France has more deployed nukes than China, and the UK probably has more deployed nukes than China, I would expect that this is not going to viewed with any enthusiasm by the civilian and military leadership of the People’s Republic.
Mr. Trump’s decision, rumored for some time, is bound to further aggravate European allies, including those in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, who are also signatories to the treaty.
They are likely to remain in the accord, which has nearly three dozen signatories, but have warned that with Washington’s exit, Russia will almost certainly respond by also cutting off their flights, which the allies use to monitor troop movements on their borders — especially important to the Baltic nations.
Russia can literally do nothing but complain if they see something in the US, if European nations see a troubling mobilization on their borders, they can take immediate countermeasures.
You tell me who loses more from this.