Cure Thy Children’s Warring Madness

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is a bilateral nuclear arms treaty between the U.S. and Russia. Both countries seem intent on withdrawing from the treaty. General Secretary Susan Henry-Crowe responds.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Feb. 1, 2019, that the U.S. would not participate in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty for six months. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded the next day by suspending its participation in the treaty.

Both have indicated intentions of a full and final withdrawal at the end of the six months.

The 1987 INF Treaty is a landmark agreement. The two nations agreed to eliminate and ban its missiles with a range between 500-5,000 kilometers (approximately 310-3,100 miles). Both the U.S. and Russia adopted the treaty as a commitment to reduce the risk of war and strengthen international peace and security.

The dissolution of the INF Treaty creates a clear threat to peace and strategic stability around the world and rapidly increases the risk for mutual escalation of nuclear armament and nuclear terrorism. Such actions signal to the world an unwillingness to uphold the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The United Methodist Church’s commitment to the pursuit of peace remains steadfast and unequivocal.

In our church’s statements on nuclear nonproliferation, peace and the goodness of creation, we say:

The manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and the production, possession, or use of nuclear weapons be condemned. Consequently, we endorse general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Social Principles, ¶165.C

We call on all nations to move toward the goal of disarmament and to support and abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Further, we affirm the 2017 United Nations adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to prohibit participating in any nuclear weapon activities.

My prayer for a world without nuclear weapons continues. May the Prince of Peace guide our way.