A Tale of Two Treaties. Two treaties that have defined the post-Cold War world have come under significant pressure. U.S. President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he would terminate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed in 1987 and commonly known as the INF. (According to Russian media, the Kremlin is still waiting on an official explanation from the U.S. national security adviser, who is currently in Moscow.) Unlike NAFTA or the Iran nuclear deal, the INF is a treaty and, as such, it can be terminated only by Congress, not by the president alone. The Trump administration’s announcement, however, suggests that the U.S. legislative branch is continuing its trend of ceding authority to the executive branch.
The stakes of the withdrawal would go far beyond U.S institutional degradation. The U.S. claims Russia began violating the INF Treaty in 2014, while Russia has maintained since at least 2017 that U.S. anti-ballistic missile defense deployments in Eastern Euro