The INF Treaty
In December 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in Washington, DC. The treaty eliminated both nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic missiles with a range of 300-3,400 miles. The treaty itself did not set a number on the amount of missiles to be destroyed; it instead set target numbers for the amount of missiles that would remain. Weapons inspectors were required from each country in order to ensure the fulfillment of this treaty. While the INF Treaty was considered a success, Gorbachev believed the U.S. was too hesitant in supporting disarmanent and began an additional reduction of its armed forces in the spring of 1988, without a reciprocal reduction in the U.S. The drastic cuts to the Soviet military was a sign of Gorbachev's commitment to reform as well as the fundamental weakness of the Soviet economy, which could no longer sustain its armed forces.
"Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles," December 8, 1987, U.S. Department of State, Archive, State Department (accessed June 3, 2008).
- Each Party shall eliminate all its intermediate-range missiles and launchers of such missiles, and all support structures and support equipment of the categories listed in the Memorandum of Understanding associated with such missiles and launchers, so that no later than three years after entry into force of this Treaty and thereafter no such missiles, launchers, support structures or support equipment shall be possessed by either Party.
- To implement paragraph 1 of this Article, upon entry into force of this Treaty, both Parties shall begin and continue throughout the duration of each phase, the reduction of all types of their deployed and non-deployed intermediate-range missiles and deployed and non-deployed launchers of such missiles and support structures and support equipment associated with such missiles and launchers in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty....
- by the end of the first phase, that is, no later than 29 months after entry into force of this Treaty:
- the number of deployed launchers of intermediate-range missiles for each Party shall not exceed the number of launchers that are capable of carrying or containing at one time missiles considered by the Parties to carry 171 warheads;
- the number of deployed intermediate-range missiles for each Party shall not exceed the number of such missiles considered by the Parties to carry 180 warheads;
- For the purpose of ensuring verification of compliance with the provisions of this Treaty, each Party shall have the right to conduct on-site inspections. The Parties shall implement on-site inspections in accordance with this Article, the Protocol on Inspection and the Protocol on Elimination.
- Each Party shall have the right to conduct inspections provided for by this Article both within the territory of the other Party and within the territories of basing countries....