We publish here the press release from Physicians for Social Responsibility in the USA on the day the INF treaty expired.

“Such a withdrawal would turn back the clock to a dangerous era”

Physicians for Social Responsibility firmly opposes President Donald Trump’s dangerous decision to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This vital landmark treaty entered into force during the Cold War, at the height of elevated tensions between the United States and Russia. It remains responsible for eliminating over 2,600 intermediate-range missiles, bringing tangible progress in stabilization and disarmament efforts between the two countries. Withdrawing from the INF Treaty would make Americans less safe and increase the risk of nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia.

Russia and the United States possess the largest nuclear stockpiles in the world. The INF Treaty played a critical role in ending the Cold War, and it increases pressure on both countries to reduce their arsenals. Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Treaty would set a devastating precedent for all nuclear armed countries to renege on their disarmament responsibilities.

“Such a withdrawal would turn back the clock to a dangerous era that put the United States and Russia on the brink of nuclear war,” said Jeff Carter, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “President Trump’s plan would weaken national and international security while potentially fueling a new arms race.

From a medical perspective, the risks of escalation are clear: No nation on earth would have an adequate mass emergency or health response in the event of a nuclear exchange, and all nations have an interest in preventing the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons.

As we approach the 74th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, we are reminded of the true human cost of using nuclear weapons. PSR recommends that the United States negotiate with all nuclear-armed countries for the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. In the meantime, for the sake of all nations, including the United States and Russia, it is critical that both countries recommit to further negotiations, and pivot away from dragging the world into a new arms race.