Outgoing President Donald Trump is apparently determined to help Russia gain as many advantages against American national security as possible before he has to leave office in January, because he just exited another crucial treaty.
The Open Skies Treaty has been in effect since 2002 and involves 34 nations. The treaty allows the United States to fly reconnaissance missions over Russian territory, which helps our military and intelligence officials keep an eye on Russian military movements, armaments, and other activities that could threaten the safety of the United States and our allies.
In particularly, it most certainly aides our NATO allies in Europe, who have been under increased threat from Russia, especially since Trump took office.
Trump has already withdrawn the United States from key treaties such as the INF Nuclear Treaty signed in 1987 by former President Ronald Reagan and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.
Now Trump is giving Vladimir Putin another gift by ending American participation in the Open Skies Treaty and is moving to sabotage any effort by President-Elect Joe Biden from reversing it.
“Complicating Biden’s options, the Trump administration is designating Open Skies aircraft ‘excess defense articles’ and will ‘liquidate’ the planes after leaving the treaty today,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
“We’ve started liquidating the equipment,” a senior Trump official said. “Other countries can come purchase or just take the airframes. They are really old and cost-prohibitive for us to maintain. We don’t have a use for them anymore.”
Actually, we do have a use for them. It’s called protecting the United States and our allies from Russian aggression.
But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bragged about withdrawing from the treaty on Sunday and laughably claimed that America is “more secure” now.
Today, pursuant to earlier notice provided, the United States withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies is now effective. America is more secure because of it, as Russia remains in non-compliance with its obligations.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 22, 2020
America is only secure when we know what our enemies are up to, not sitting on our butts not bothering to find out. This is a dangerous course of action that allows Russia opportunities to be more aggressive toward Europe. Trump is only weakening our national security, not strengthening it. Hopefully, Biden’s administration can salvage enough of the airplanes Trump is trying to get rid of and reestablish our participation in the Open Skies Treaty. In the meantime, if Russia makes any moves against our allies or our interests, it’s all on Donald Trump and his Republican enablers.
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