The United States' (US) decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty throws Francis Fukuyama's 'End of History' thesis to the dustbin of history. Instead, the move will drift world more towards Samuel Huntington's wishful thinking 'Clash of Civilisations'. While the US wants to update its nuclear arsenal according to the needs of the day and novel challenges to its national interests and security, the decision has already invited a quick response from Russia in the form of Russia's withdrawal from the same treaty.
Security and defence analyst along with scholars of international politics and relations are already indicating that a new cold war is already underway between the two former rivals. The reason for the subtle cold war is the US fears of resurgent Russia. The aggressive posture of the US in this regard will expose the US hypocritical stance on denuclearisation.
Instead of pulling out of the agreement it could have asked Russia for holding more comprehensive talks. But given that the John Bolton a well-known hawk is Trump's National Security Advisor nothing short of such a reckless behaviour could be anticipated. He had been pushing Trump to withdraw from the treaty with Russia since 2018.
The withdrawal from the INF treaty will not only initiate a new arms race between the two cold-war era rivals, but it will also prompt other nuclear powers to follow suit. In the days when the US is trying to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula, the reckless and insensible announcement of American President weeks before the new summit with Pyongyang also casts shadows of doubt and uncertainty over the success of the much-awaited summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.
At present when the world is debating if the world can ever be free of arms, in general, and nuclear weapons, in particular, the US disregard for arms control will allow other nations to update their nuclear arsenal causing perpetual security dilemma. Moreover, pulling out of the deal will render all global disarmament treaties partially ineffective.
What Trump and his advisers failed to appreciate is the fact that the treaty deprives Russia of a significant military capability. Russia will reciprocate any American development in the nuclear arms race. At the same time, the US withdrawal from the treaty will also make China apprehensive of the US new sophistication in the nuclear and missile technology.
In short, Trump administration is not only flaming the arms race between two rivals. Trump's announcement will increase the tensions between the two states while paving the path to war.