"Before the United States killed it, the INF Treaty didn’t just stem the arms race with Russia—it stopped the spread of nuclear weapons around the world," argues James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies Senior Research Associate Sarah Bidgood MANPTS '16 in the newest edition of Foreign Policy magazine.
Bidgood's article, "Trump Accidentally Just Triggered Global Nuclear Proliferation," presents the argument that the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on February 1st of this year, not only does the Trump administration make a new nuclear arms race more likely as many have pointed out, but it also potentially undermines global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to countries that currently do not have them.
"As an instrument of arms control, the INF Treaty has done much more than limit the capabilities of the individual parties involved. For over 30 years, it has quietly been a central part of the international nonproliferation regime, too. This collection of treaties, informal agreements, and institutions that keep the spread of nuclear weapons in check is often cast in architectural terms: an edifice held up by pillars built on a weathered but enduring foundation. In reality, the nonproliferation regime is a complex and deeply intertwined network that more resembles a spiderweb: stronger than the sum of its parts but likely to unravel if individual threads start to break."
Middlebury Institute student Sarah Bidgood is building a strong network of future colleagues in the field of nuclear security through participation in unique bilateral programs made possible through the Institute’s Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies.
William C. Potter and Sarah Bidgood of the Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) celebrated the launch of their new co-edited volume Once and Future Partners: The United States, Russia, and Nuclear Non-proliferation earlier this month.
Three Middlebury Institute students will be working on research projects as part of the highly selective Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum, which began with a recent conference in Moscow.