The INF Treaty: Lessons for START
Pakistan Journal of American Studies
Vol. 9, Nos. 1 & 2 (Spring & Fall 1991), pp 18-28
The INF treaty was signed at the Washington summit in December 1987. With the exchange of instruments of ratification at the Moscow summit in the following May, it entered into force on June 1, 1988. It was the first major arms control agreement concluded by the superpowers since the un-ratified SALT-II treaty. The INF treaty was no doubt an important step towards a more secure and stable peace. Primarily, it improved the security environment in Europe. The destruction of INF missiles meant the elimination of a category of weapons which could have been used early in a conflict in Europe. The conclusion of the treaty also had considerable significance for the superpowers' arms control negotiations on conventional and nuclear forces. The treaty recognized the principle of asymmetrical reductions, and provided for an intrusive verification regime, and thus helped establish precedents for the East-West talks on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE), under which the Soviet Union was required to make comparatively larger reductions in the number of its troops and tanks, and which also required an intrusive verification regime—though more comprehensive than the one needed to verify the INF treaty. The prospects for a START agreement were given a quantum boost by the conclusion of the INF treaty. In fact, the movement towards signing of the treaty had already drawn with it very considerable progress for the conclusion of a START agreement. Full Text