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New Pentagon chief wants Pacific based missiles

WASHINGTON ― A day after the U.S. formally pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he wants to deploy a conventional ground-based missile that could travel within the agreement’s prohibited range “sooner, rather than later.”

Beyond the thorny international politics, the Pentagon would also have to successfully navigate a divided government on Capitol Hill, where Democrats have criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the treaty and his administration’s argument for new missiles.

The U.S. on Friday formally suspended its compliance with the landmark INF Treaty, a 1987 pact with the former Soviet Union that banned ground-launched nuclear and conventional ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 kilometers. The U.S. and Russia had traded accusations of treaty breaches for more than a decade.
 

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