Why are some Democrats wanting to stick with a treaty that Russia has been violating for years?

Eli Lake:
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Some Democrats, meanwhile, were quick to express their concern. Adam Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the withdrawal “risks precisely the sort of nuclear arms buildup that the treaty was designed to guard against.” Chris Coons of Delaware, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that withdrawal “without a clear plan for bringing Russia back into compliance will lead to a new arms race and endanger the people of the United States and Europe.” Both men, to be fair, also acknowledged that Russia has violated the treaty.

If these Democrats were members of the Trump administration, they might face accusations that they were Russian stooges. After all, they are defending a 1987 arms control treaty that was a wonderful deal for Russia. Until now, America has adhered to the terms of the deal and not developed intermediate-range nuclear missiles, nor has it deployed any to threaten Russian cities.

The Russians, in contrast, have been cheating for more than a decade. In 2008, they began testing a ground-based cruise missile system. In 2017, the U.S. government acknowledged that Russia had deployed what is known as the “9M729 missile” against NATO positions in Europe.

For nearly a decade, the U.S. government tried a number of tactics to get the Russians to meet their treaty obligations. U.S. officials tried negotiations. They tried public shaming. In December, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo persuaded NATO to formally declare Russia as in breach of the treaty. None of it worked.

So the U.S. will now try a different approach. As Pompeo said on Friday: “Russia has jeopardized the United States security interest, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it.”
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Adam Schiff has been consistently wrong about the Russian collusion hoax and now he is defending indefensible conduct by the Russians that jeopardizes the US and European security.   Coons is not as crazy as Schiff, but the US under both Democrat and Republican administrations have been trying for years to bring Russia back into compliance.

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