Greenfield Recorder, July 19, 2023

Thank you for publishing the excellent and informative column by Aaron Falbel in the July 13 Recorder [“Russia’s grievances can’t be dismissed”]. In the current war climate, we hardly see any news that can explain what is going on in Ukraine except that Russia is evil incarnate and the U.S., NATO, and Ukraine are courageously fighting on the side of the angels.

We should consider the actual reasons for this terrible war. My letter is to add a couple of other reasons that might have been concerns of Russia in starting this war.

The U.S. withdrew from two important bilateral treaties with Russia. One was the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) of 1972 which was canceled in 2002 by President George W. Bush. The ABM Treaty would have prevented the U.S. from mounting antimissile missiles in NATO countries. The other treaty was the INF Treaty, also known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987. The treaty aimed to eliminate all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles). The INF would have meant that NATO countries bordering Russia would not have nuclear weapons. The U.S. withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2019, followed by Russia soon after. (Both countries claimed that the other was violating the treaty.)

The elimination of these treaties means that all NATO countries and Russia can prepare for nuclear war, whereas before 2019, Russia would only have to worry about the U.S. in case of nuclear war. Some people may think this makes us safer. I believe this increases the chance of nuclear war in Europe and World War III.