Trump’s withdrawal of America from the open Sky Treaty seems to serve only political purposes, but may influence the interests of American allies.
The Open Sky Treaty was opened by 34 countries in 1992, allowing members of the United States, Russia and most of the European countries to deploy reconnaissance cameras and radar flights according to routes that were unified in advance across each other’s territory. The flights are aimed at supervising military operations and verifying compliance with other treaties.
Trump said the decision to withdraw from the open sky was made by Russia in violation of the commitments under the agreement, allegiment of Russia has restricted U.S. mechanical reconnaissance through the Kaliningrad overseas territories in the Baltic region within the Treaty framework. However, military experts skeptical this reason of Trump.
Commentator Steven Pifer of the Brookings institution based in Washington pointed out that after allegations of Russia violated the treaty because of the limited distance of reconnaissance planes operating in Kaliningrad skies and prohibiting any surveillance flights along the Russian border with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the US was in response to banning Russian reconnaissance aircraft with similar activities in the Hawaiian skies.
“Russia is right to violate the Treaty, but the U.S. responded commensurate within the Treaty,” Pifer writes.
Republican congressman also described Russian surveillance flights in the United States under the open Sky Treaty as “espionage” activity. However, they seemed to forget that the treaty also allowed the US to conduct similar activities in Russia.
Despite the controversy between Russia and the United States, Washington allies strongly advocated the open sky Treaty and often tended to share intelligence obtained from flights.
“No government, whether allied or not, thinks that America needs or should withdraw from the open Sky Treaty,” said independent security expert and visual analyst Steffan Watkins.
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the Non-Proliferation weapons program in East Asia, thought that Trump’s aversion to the open Sky Treaty was not due to its limitations or any Russian offense, which merely carries political engines. “Trump objfaced to it just because it was a treaty,” Lewis said.
“This has nothing to do with the open Sky Treaty, but the fact that the Republicans now regard international agreements that have previously concluded a stain with American sovereignty,” he said.
The Trump administration has drawn the US from a series of international agreements on global carbon emissions control, a nuclear agreement with Iran, and a treaty prohibiting the deployment of terrestrial-range nuclear missile deployments in Europe.
“The decision to withdraw from the open sky was a lack of wisdom, opposition to and contrary to the viewpoint of the intelligence community, the army and the Allies of America,” the nuclear expert of the Federation of American Scientists Hans Kristensen said.
Kristensen warns that withdrawing from the open sky can react to the U.S.. “It will make it harder to keep track of Russian operations, especially as the Trump administration has abandoned a series of international treaties. This is a disturbing manifestation of the Trump administration weakening international order, “Kristensen says.
Lewis ‘ expert warns if the open sky collapses, the nation’s heaviest damages are the American allies rather than Russian. “Our allies and partners will be losers. It shows that the “lemon extractor removes the shell” thinking of the Trump administration when dealing with allies as the subject of collecting money instead of partner with joint interests, “Lewis said.
The decision to withdraw from Trump’s open sky Treaty had even been opposed by a number of Republican senators in the state of Nebraska. “I suppose that we withdraw the treaty as a mistake. It is important that our allies want it. Our smaller NATO partners rely on images obtained from treaty flights, “said Congressman Don Bacon, former Commodore of the USAF.
Proponents of the sky open to the Treaty that is still worth, especially The European allies of the United States, by leaving the members to participate “in the same way”. The treaty also helped the NATO Member States Army to cooperate together, as most of the American missions were made in partnership with other countries.
In March 4, the Democratic congressman in the U.S. Congress of Congress writes to Trump to warn the withdrawal of the open skies that would weaken alliances with the European allies, which relied on the treaty to force Russia to be responsible for military operations in the region.
“The Trump administration’s efforts to lead to a major change in our defense security policy between the Covid-19 global health crisis is not only accessible but also unpopular”, the congressman Adam Smith, Eliot Engel, Jack Reed and Bob Menendez wrote in the letter.
The Treaty of the Open Sky began in the proposal of U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950, but was rejected by the Soviet Union. US President George H.W. Bush revival This idea at the end of the cold War and his administration negotiated the treaty.
Nguyen Tien (According to Forbes, Omaha)