Today the “U.S. military conducted the first test of a ground-launched cruise missile since the United States withdrew from the landmark 1987 intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia this month” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The flight test of ‘Tomahawk variant’ an intermediate-range missile, tested Sunday afternoon from San Nicolas Island, off the coast of L.A. was “judged a success.” In a statement released by the Pentagon, “the test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers [310 miles] of flight.”
Due to “Russian noncompliance” the United States withdrew from the 1987 INF Treaty on August 2nd, “ending a Cold War-era arms agreement that limited ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges of 310 and 3,400 miles.”
Russia’s noncompliance included their secret development and testing of ground-launched cruise missiles in the early 2000s. According to the Washington Free Beacon, “the treaty violation was ignored by the administration of President Barack Obama that had sought to avoid upsetting its arms control agenda with Moscow.” At the beginning of this month, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the INF treaty withdrawal” announcing that “Moscow had refused to return to compliance with the treaty by destroying its SSC-8s,” their ground-launched cruise missile.
Secretary Pompeo has been unequivocally clear that “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise.” He noted “efforts to coax Russia back into compliance were first attempted in 2013 and were systematically rebuffed for six years…as it has for many years, Russia chose to keep its noncompliant missile rather than going back into compliance with its treaty obligations.” Russia was notified in February that it had six months to correct the violation of its material breach of the INF treaty.
Pompeo said Russia’s illegal missile poses “a direct threat to the United States and our allies and partners,” and that “The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia.”