Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty – UPSC Prelims

  • The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) is nuclear arms-control accord reached by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 in which those two nations agreed to eliminate their stocks of intermediate-range and shorter-range (or “medium-range”) land-based missiles (which could carry nuclear warheads).
  • It was the first arms-control treaty to abolish an entire category of weapon systems.
  • In addition to this, two protocols to the treaty established unprecedented procedures for observers from both nations to verify first hand the other nation’s destruction of its missiles.
  • It is important to note that the INF Treaty defined intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) as those having ranges of 1,000 to 5,500 km (620 to 3,400 miles).
  • It also defined shorter-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) as those having ranges from 500 to 1,000 km.
  • Why in News? USA has exited from this treaty.