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IPFS News Link • Foreign Policy

Pentagon Chief Wants More Missiles in Asia

• by Jason Ditz

Interested in taking advantage of the US withdrawing from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty last week,Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters he is very interested in putting some intermediate-range nuclear weapons into Asia in the months ahead.

Esper conceded that there was no specific timetable for such deployments, and that they "tend to take longer than you expect." The Pentagon is moving to develop new post-INF missiles, but may choose to go with designs from before the 1987 treaty went into effect, just to get more nukes into Asia. 

Reporters were quick to point out that China would object to this, but Esper said he didn't see it likely to lead to an arms race, and that he believed adding a bunch of additional land-based missiles would "deter China."