It was always a long shot that the administration would succeed in negotiations, begun in December, to get Russia to destroy the missiles they illegally fielded under the treaty. And top administration officials such as National Security Adviser John Bolton have never been big fans of arms control.
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.