Tensions between Russia and United States revive arms race

 The main agreement that put order and consensus on the development of nuclear weapons in the final stage of the Cold War, INF, collapsed. And, free from the straitjacket that restricted them, the tension between Russia and the United States made the arms race begin again. This is a complex escalation, in a new era of more modern and powerful weapons, which can trigger a global crisis. Because while Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump accuse each other of breaching the pact and put world stability at risk, both powers observe China, which, without the restrictions of the nuclear agreement, develops a powerful war industry.
 The Cold War scheme is no longer good enough. The geostrategic board is today much more varied - and dangerous - than during the years of crisis between the US-led western capitalist bloc and the communist Eastern dominated by the Soviet Union. In a time of growing tensions and a defense industry endowed with such modern arsenals and such rapid and varied devices, there are multiple actors competing in blocks and individually: Russia, the United States, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea - is equipped with nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
 And they are real actors, which complicates the task of maintaining strategic stability. "There is a greater risk today of nuclear weapons being used in a conflict, something that seemed almost unthinkable during the height of relations between the United States and Russia after 1991," diagnoses retired general Vladimir Dvorkin of the Russian Academy of Sciences , to the Carnegie Center in Moscow. The current situation could be a repetition in the 21st century of a "new Cold War arms", although more complex, agrees Alexandra Bell, second name in the hierarchy of the Center for the Control of Weapons and Nonproliferation of Washington. "Once we can get out of the nuclear abyss, but we may not be so lucky next time," the expert warns.
 Signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, the Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) was the beginning of the end of the arms race and the Cold War. For the first time, the US and the Soviet Union committed not only to limiting their nuclear arsenals but also to destroying them. And they have disposed of nearly 2,700 nuclear warheads and a whole category of medium-range (500-5,500km) medium-range cruise missiles. Weapons that are still particularly attractive and destabilizing today because they reach a target in less than 10 minutes at a safe distance from the front line, almost without allowing reaction - which in turn increases the risk of a global nuclear conflict in the case of a false launch warning.
 Under the treaty, while both the United States and Russia have a large catalog of missiles capable of being launched from the air and sea - more expensive and requiring more labor - both nuclear powers reduced their weapons from 63,000 in 1986 to about 8,100 today. And, even more crucially, the Reagan-Gorbachev agreement helped prevent a nuclear conflict during the final stage of the Cold War.
 After Trump's and Putin's announcements that their respective countries withdrew from the INF, there remain about six months left to save the agreement from ultimate ruin. And with the crucial nuclear treaty transformed into shredded paper, rearmament begins. And the new costly nuclear arms race is likely to be global. Because tensions between Moscow and Washington sparked worldwide concern. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Sunday that although he wished to keep the agreement signed more than three decades ago, he did not rule out the rearmament of his country. Failure to do so would "weaken" Germany's negotiating position, he said in an interview.
 So it's time to take action - especially between two countries led by men who love public demonstrations of military power. In March of last year, we have seen an appetizer of this. In his annual State of the Nation address, and with a set design aimed at encouraging the patriotic moods of the Russians, President Putin presented an "invincible" and hypersonic missile. And in his speech - in which he ensured that the new systems could penetrate the US anti-missile shield - included animated videos showing multiple warheads headed for Florida, where Trump usually spends his free time. A big hit.
Five times faster than the sound
 Russia tested one of these hypersonic missiles, the Avangard, at the end of December. It was, according to the Russian leader, a "New Year's gift" for his fellow citizens. But also a gesture aimed at Washington and the US president, who had already accused Moscow of failing to infiltrate the INF with another controversial rocket, the SSC-8 land-based cruise missile.

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