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Trump says arms race with Russia, China ‘uncontrollable’

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Trump Putin
Trump
and Putin met at the APEC Summit in Vietnam in
2017.

Jorge
Silva/Reuters


  • President Donald Trump on Monday said an arms race between
    the US, China, and Russia had become “uncontrollable.”
  • Trump signaled he hoped to bring the arms race to a
    “meaningful halt” in potential discussions with Russian President
    Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
  • This comes a little over a month after Trump announced the US
    was withdrawing from a landmark nuclear treaty with Russia. 

President Donald Trump on Monday said an arms race between the
US, China, and Russia had become “uncontrollable,” signaling he
hoped to work with the leaders of those countries to bring it to
a “meaningful halt” in the near future.

“I am certain that, at some time in the future, President
Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start
talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and
uncontrollable Arms Race,” Trump
tweeted.
 “The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year.
Crazy!”

This comes a little over a month after Trump announced the
US was
withdrawing from the 1987 intermediate-range nuclear forces
treaty (INF)
, a move that prompted swift criticism from
European leaders and nuclear experts.


Read more:
Trump wants to ditch a Cold War treaty that reduced nuclear
weapons — that’s a bad move, says the Soviet leader who signed
it

Trump justified the move by alleging Russia was violating
the treaty. American officials began accusing Russia of violating
the landmark treaty
as far back as the Obama administration
, but Russian
President Vladimir Putin has vehemently denied breaching its
terms.

Nuclear experts have said there is strong evidence Russia
is violating the INF treaty and the US is justified for
criticizing Moscow in this regard, but also warned ripping the
deal up opens a dangerous door for Russia. 

“Given Russian violations, there’s no question the US is
justified in withdrawing,” Thomas Karako, director of the Missile
Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies,
recently told CNBC
. “But we don’t want withdrawal to merely
let Russia off the hook without other robust actions to support
US deterrence and defense goals.”

The Reagan-era INF treaty barred land-based cruise or
ballistic missiles with ranges between 311 miles and 3,420 miles.
After it was signed in 1987, the US and Russia were forced to cut
thousands of missiles from their respective nuclear
arsenals. 

Trump briefly met with Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina
over the weekend, but their short-lived chat
did not seem to accomplish much
. The two leaders had
originally been set to have a longer, more formal meeting, but
Trump cancelled it over Russia’s recent aggression toward
Ukraine.

Trump in the past has called for the US to ramp up its
defense spending and put more energy into
arms development
. The president pushed for and
approved a $716 billion defense budget
earlier this
year.

The Pentagon also recently signaled it was shifting its
focus from thwarting terrorism to
countering the growing threats from Russia and China.

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